Dorset councils agree to investigate county-wide merger

View of Christchurch from Hengistbury Head Image copyright Crispin Purdye
Image caption The proposed merger of four councils in east Dorset would serve 487,000 residents

Local authorities in Dorset have agreed to investigate the possibility of joining a county-wide "super council".

Dorset County Council and Christchurch Borough Council will explore options, including forming an alliance with Bournemouth, East Dorset and Poole.

On Monday, East Dorset District Council (EDDC) - which is already in partnership with Christchurch - voted against any change.

The county council's cabinet also met and agreed to investigate all options.

It will meet again to debate the issue at a meeting of the full council in March 2016.

On Monday, EDDC leader Ian Monks resigned ahead of a vote on the issue. The full council voted 20 to eight to reject the merger.

Opposition councillors in Poole have called for a referendum on the plans.

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