A legal challenge against the Secretary of State’s decision to implement the Future Dorset proposal has been dismissed, following a judicial review. The eight councils unopposed to the plan gave the following reaction:
“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 respect the choice of Christchurch Borough Council to challenge the Secretary of State’s decision, through a judicial review on a procedural point of law. In doing so, we note that the validity of the case for creating two new councils was not the basis for this judicial review challenge.
“Christchurch Borough Council has spent a very significant amount of council tax payers’ money in pursuing this legal action. The High Court has rejected that challenge and we hope that all Christchurch Borough Councillors will now accept that judgement, and fully take part in planning for and making decisions about the new council.
“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.”
Issued on behalf of Bournemouth BC, Dorset CC, Borough of Poole, East Dorset DC, North Dorset DC, Purbeck DC, West Dorset DC and Weymouth & Portland BC