In March members approved holding a postal referendum to get the thoughts on whether or not residents would support joining a new unitary authority with Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch. However, the referendum was deferred as a decision on the Future Dorset proposal was delayed due to a number of reasons, including the General Election.
Following the announcement by the Secretary of State, the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, that he is ‘minded to’ support the Future Dorset submission, members will now meet to confirm the running of the referendum. If they vote to proceed they will also need to finalise the referendum paper and supporting document.
Cllr David Flagg, Leader of the Council, Christchurch Borough Council, said: “Before making any representations to the Secretary of State about the possible reorganisation of local government in Dorset councillors want to allow Christchurch residents to have their say. It is important we take into account their wishes as we are elected to represent them.”
The referendum will be a postal ballot and residents will have two weeks to return their ballot papers. Papers will be sent to all residents (registered to vote by 1 September 2017) on either 1 or 8 December with a return date of 14 or 21 December 2017. These dates will be finalised at full council.
A further extraordinary council meeting will be held to finalise Christchurch Borough Council’s representation to the Secretary of State once the results of the referendum are announced.
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