Here we go again; fiddling the figures to convince council taxpayers it’s the way to cut costs.
Local Government Reorganisation led to a reduction in Hampshire’s size; in 1974, the towns of Bournemouth and Christchurch were transferred to Dorset.
Since 1997, the town has been administered by a unitary authority independent of Dorset County Council, although it remains part of that ceremonial county.
The local council was Bournemouth Borough Council. The Borough of Poole was made a unitary authority in 1997, gaining administrative independence from Dorset County Council.
Historically in the county of Hampshire, it became part of the administrative county of Dorset in the 1974 reorganisation.
From April 1, it will be part of the new Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council independent of the new Dorset Council.
So now, like Wiltshire, we have a huge rural area without a large industrialised conurbation. The new Dorset Council operates without the benefits of the riches generated by the vast new BCP Council.
It was tried in Wiltshire. Local Government Reorganisation in 2009 led to a new Wiltshire Council, without the riches of Swindon, formerly called Thamesdown in 1974, the largest town in the county, population of 225,000, at least. Salisbury, the only city in the county, has about 45,000 residents, and Wiltshire totals 480,000.
The new unitary authority has struggled to control spending and blames the government on cash cuts to vital community services.
The vastly rich county of Hampshire still has a population of at least 1.8 million. It won’t miss BCP much. But Dorset won’t benefit.
David Parker, Editor
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