At the first 2016 public meeting of the North Bournemouth Area Forum, there was a surprise guest speaker – Cllr John Beesley – Leader of The Council (Bournemouth Borough).
Cllr Beesley gave a speech which was a essentially a sales-pitch for the proposed ‘Super Council’, that would see the creation one unitary authority merging Bournemouth with Poole, Christchurch and East Dorset District Council.
UKIP Member (and former Kinson election candidate) Duane Farr was sat just behind Cllr Beesley, in a prime spot to question him after he finished speaking. Duane grabbed the opportunity to put him on the spot to ask “why, back in May, when the Local Election was held, was there no mention of the proposed council merger on the Conservative Party leaflets?” And then further asked if there wad going to be a public vote.
Cllr Beesley claimed before the election there was no discussion between the Conservative leaders of the respective local authorities. He claimed the reason a South East Dorset ‘Super Council’ was proposed last summer was due to changes in government funding to councils.
Cllr Beesley informed the audience there would be a public consultation. “But will there be a public vote on it?”, Duane asked. Cllr Beesley responded, “don’t take me down that path”.
So there we have it, the Conservatives have no mandate for the proposed ‘Super Council’ and the leader of Bournemouth Council is staying firm that there will be no public vote to let the people decide whether the merger is a good deal or not for Bournemouth and it’s community.
It appears the plan is for the merger take place before 2019, so everything is in place for the next set of local elections that year. If you live in Bournemouth and want your say then please add your name to this petition calling for a referendum.