Christchurch Council Won't Appeal High Court Loss Over Merger

14 August 2018, 12:27

Christchurch Council's decided not to appeal, after being refused a judicial review of a merger with Bournemouth and Poole.

It went to the High Court last month, fighting the plans that would see Dorset's nine councils reduced into two larger ones.

It had claimed the Secretary of State didn't have the authority to approve the plans.

Christchurch Borough Council has agreed not to submit an appeal to the Court of Appeal following the refusal of its Judicial Review application.

Cllr David Flagg, Leader of the Council, Christchurch Borough Council, said: 

“Having been refused leave to appeal by the judge it was important that the advice of Counsel and Officers was considered when deciding the best way forward. In light of the decision we feel that the best way for us to proceed is to focus our work on getting the best for our residents as we move towards local government reorganisation on 1 April 2019.

“Whilst we are of course extremely disappointed with the decision of the judge the Council has fought to represent the wishes of our residents throughout this process.

“Having pursued every avenue available to us we must now accept that the Council will be abolished next year. We apologise that we were not successful in keeping Christchurch independent and thank all the residents who supported us in our attempts.”

After the High Court decision, a statement issued on behalf of Bournemouth Borough Council, Dorset County Council, Borough of Poole, East Dorset District Council, North Dorset District Council, Purbeck District Council, West Dorset District Council and Weymouth & Portland Council said:

“We are delighted but unsurprised by today’s judgement.

“A huge amount of work has already been undertaken, and we are making excellent progress towards creating the two new councils. Christchurch Borough councillors and their officers have always been welcome at the various meetings that have taken place, working to form the two new councils.

“We are optimistic this matter is now behind us, and we can look forward to working together to create the best new local councils we can, to protect public services as much as possible, and to secure future growth and prosperity for our areas.”