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09.08.18

Christchurch to appeal High Court ruling over Dorset merger row

A borough council who lost a High Court case in its campaign to prevent local authorities in the area from being merged has applied to appeal the ruling.

Christchurch Borough Council’s long-running legal battle against plans to merge with Poole and Bournemouth district councils was dealt a major blow on Tuesday when the High Court found in favour of the plans.

Cllr David Flagg, leader of the borough council, said the authority was “disappointed” by the judgement on Tuesday. Christchurch has now applied to contest the ruling and will await a response for the decision to the appeal.

It now has until 21 August to lodge an appeal in the Court of Appeal.

Under the proposals, the existing nine Dorset councils would be scrapped in favour of two new larger unitary authorities in a move which could save the area £108m over six years.

West Dorset, Weymouth & Portland, Purbeck, Dorset County Council, East Dorset, and North Dorset would make up the second council.

Christchurch formally opposed the merger earlier this year, claiming Sajid Javid— who approved plans for the merger during his time as communities secretary in February— had acted beyond his powers in the decision.

But the formal opposition from Christchurch was labelled “absurd” by new communities secretary James Brokenshire in May.

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Image credit: seb_ra

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