Local Council Merger Plans

Recent discussions about a ‘Super Council’, combining Christchurch, Poole, Bournemouth and East Dorset councils, have been hitting the local news headlines since it was announced. I believe these plans are an interesting development for the area and should be thoroughly examined.

 

Some years ago, I set up something called ‘Conurbation 2050’, a group of local business and community members that meets on a regular basis to discuss how Poole, Christchurch and Bournemouth businesses can work more closely to expand their trading links and to flourish in a wider market, and raises local issues. I believe that these plans for a Super Council expand on this ideology of greater local unity.

 

It is no secret that after the legacy of debt that the former Labour Government left us in 2010, strong and decisive governance was needed to reduce the deficit and this regrettably meant that significant cuts had to be made to local authority budgets. This was not a choice made lightly, but one that the Government made to reduce the national deficit, and one that the new Conservative Government intends to continue in order to bring Britain’s national finances back under control. Unfortunately, all budgets – including those for regional and local councils – have to remain at a reduced level.

 

Therefore, any form of council union that would reduce administrative costs and provide more efficiency in services, is a welcome move. I believe that uniting our local services would not only reduce costs, but would make systems more efficient with services, businesses and communities feeling more united, which may even promote closer and more profitable business links and trade.

 

I encourage everyone to look at these plans closely and to think of the benefits to the local area were these plans to be taken forward, for the greater benefit of Bournemouth and the wider surrounding areas.

 

If you wish to be included on the Conurbation 2050 emails, please email my Senior Parliamentary Assistant Lisa Erlandsen at: erlandsenl@parliament.uk