Parties urged to keep talking over control of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council
Graham Farrant, chief executive of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council

THE chief executive of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council has urged political groups to continue discussions to form a controlling administration.


Ahead of the first meeting of the new unitary authority on Tuesday, Graham Farrant has called for cooperation between councillors, writes Josh Wright of the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Local elections at the beginning of the month left no single group with a majority of the 76 members of the council. Since then groups have held several meetings to try to secure a ruling coalition.

Mr Farrant has taken part in several discussions and facilitators have been brought in by the council to try to aid negotiations ahead of the first full meeting.

Mr Farrant said: “This meeting will mark a significant milestone in the establishment of BCP Council.

“It is important that party representatives continue to talk to each other across the groups with a view to determining how they can best work together to help shape key policies and strategies for BCP Council going forward.

“As officers it is important we remain impartial and objective whilst supporting all 76 elected councillors.”

At Tuesday’s meeting, which will take place at Bournemouth University, the council’s first  chairman and leader are due to be appointed.

Once this has been completed, the leader will be able to appoint cabinet members.

The Conservative group has 36 councillors and is the largest on the council. It has held discussions with other members in a bid to secure the support of the three it needs for a majority.

However, several meetings have been held between representatives of the majority of the other groups who are hoping to put together a non-Conservative alliance to run the council.

Talks have taken place every day this week to try to work out what its priorities could be and how it would be run.