Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council

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Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council logo.jpg
Council logo
Type
Type
History
Founded1 April 2019
Preceded byBournemouth Borough Council
Christchurch Borough Council
Poole Borough Council
Dorset County Council
Leadership
Chair
Cllr David Flagg, Christchurch Independents Group
since 21 May 2019
Leader of the Council
Cllr Drew Mellor, Conservatives
since 1 October 2020
Deputy Leader of the Council
Philip Broadhead, Conservatives
Chief executive
Graham Farrant
since 21 May 2019
Structure
Seats76 councillors
BCP Council composition
Political groups
Administration (36) [1]
  Conservative (36)
Opposition (38)
  Liberal Democrat (14)
  Independents (12)
  Poole People (5)
  Labour (3)
  Green Party (2)
  Alliance for Local Living (1)
  UKIP (1)
Vacant (2)
  Elected as Independent (1)
  Elected as Liberal Democrat (1)
Political Groupings[2]
36 / 76
14 / 76
Christchurch Independents
6 / 76
6 / 76
Bournemouth Independent and Greens
4 / 76
3 / 76
Unaligned
5 / 76
Vacant
2 / 76
Elections
First past the post
Last election
2 May 2019
Next election
May 2024
Meeting place
Bournemouth town hall.jpg
Council Chamber Bournemouth, Town Hall, Bournemouth BH2 6DY[3]
Website
www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/Home.aspx

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council is a unitary local authority for the district of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole in England that came into being on 1 April 2019. It was created from the areas that were previously administered by the unitary authorities of Bournemouth and Poole and the non-metropolitan district of Christchurch.[4]

The first elections to the council took place in May 2019, replacing the shadow authority, the current Leader is Drew Mellor who succeeded Vikki Slade who lost a Vote of No Confidence proposed by the Conservatives 39 to 33.

Shadow authority[edit]

Statutory instruments for the creation of the new authority were made on behalf of the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on 25 May 2018, and a shadow authority was formed the following day. [5]

The Shadow Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council had 125 members, being the elected councillors from Bournemouth Borough Council, Christchurch Borough Council, Poole Borough Council and the five councillors from Dorset County Council who were elected from divisions within Christchurch. Similarly a shadow authority was created for Dorset Council, consisting of the borough and county councillors of Dorset, excluding those from Christchurch. The Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole shadow authority formed a shadow executive committee, of eight councillors from Bournemouth Borough Council, two from Christchurch Borough Council and six from Poole Borough Council. The shadow authority and initially the council itself met in lecture theatres at Bournemouth University, as no other space was large enough to host all 125 members.[6]

The first meeting of the shadow authority was held on Wednesday 6 June 2018. Ray Nottage was elected to be Chair of the shadow authority and Ann Stribley was elected as Vice-Chair. A shadow executive committee was also formed and met for the first time on 15 June 2018, at which point Janet Walton was appointed as the Shadow Council Leader. [7] [8]

Elected Council[edit]

On 2 May 2019, as part of the wider local elections, the authority held elections to replace the shadow authority. Whereas the shadow authority had had 125 members, new ward boundaries created by the Local Government Boundary Commission brought the number down to 76, across 33 multi-member wards. Whilst the Conservative Party won the most seats, they lost their majority, with the newly elected council under no-overall control. The Liberal Democrats were the second largest party, with 15 seats. Other parties elected included Poole People (7), Labour (3), the Greens (2), the Alliance for Local Living (1) and UKIP (1), alongside 11 independents. After negotiations, all groups other than the Conservatives and UKIP formed a "Unity Alliance administration", headed by the Liberal Democrats with Councillor Vikki Slade elected Leader of the Council, with other parties receiving cabinet positions.[9]

In October 2019 two Poole People councillors left the party, with one remaining as part of the Unity Alliance and one resigning from the group.[10] In April 2020 Christchurch Independents Councillor Colin Bungey of the Commons ward died, with his seat becoming vacant,[11] leading to the Unity Alliance having a minority of one. Whilst a by-election would usually be held shortly thereafter, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this was postponed. Conservative council leader Drew Mellor motioned for a vote of no confidence to be held in the now minority administration, which was held on 9 June.[12] All 75 serving councillors attended the virtual council meeting, in which all 36 Conservative councillors and one independent voted for the motion, with the 37 Unity Alliance administration councillors against, and the single UKIP councillor abstaining.[13] As such there was a tie of 37 votes each way, meaning that Council Chairman Cllr David Flagg cast the deciding vote against the motion, with the Unity Alliance remained in administration.[14][15]

Subsequent to this, Liberal Democrat Councillor Pete Parish of the Canford Heath ward died,[16] and independent (and former Poole People) Councillor Julie Bagwell left the Unity Alliance, leaving the Unity Alliance administration with 34 seats.[17][18] A second vote of confidence was then tabled, with Vikki Slade removed as leader on the 15th September, with 39 votes in support of the vote of no confidence, and 33 against. [19][20]A meeting was scheduled to be held on October 1st to decide a new leader of the council, in which Christchurch Independent Councillor Lesley Dedman nominated Vikki Slade as leader again, whilst Conservative Councillor Phil Broadhead nominated Conservative leader Drew Mellor; in the subsequent vote, Mellor received 40 votes whilst Slade received 33 votes, with one remaining councillor abstaining. The Christchurch Independents group, who are formed from former Christchurch Conservative Councillors, rejected an offer to become part of the new administration, meaning that the Conservatives remain a minority administration.[21][22]

Political groupings[edit]

Most Councillors were elected as part of a political party, but subsequently were able to form political groups, which may be made up of several political parties; the allocation of seats on committees is based on the proportion of these groups. There are currently six groups, with five unaligned councillors, and two vacant seats. Whilst the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, and Labour Party sit by themselves, some parties and independents joined together in groups;[23] the Christchurch Independents is a grouping of independents within the Christchurch area of the district, who ran for BCP Council after several were suspended from the Conservative Party for opposing the plans that lead to the creation of the new authority;[24][25] Poole People joined together win the one ALL Councillor, Felicity Rice, to form a group; the two Green councillors joined with two independents n Bournemouth to form the Bournemouth Independents and Green group (originally the Bournemouth Group),[26] The remaining independents and UKIP councillor are unaligned and thus sit by themselves, with the two other seats remaining vacant. Note that the current composition differs from the groups composition after the 2019 election, with such developments outlined above.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Cllr Drew Mellor voted new leader of BCP Council". Bournemouth Echo. 1 October 2020. Retrieved 2020-10-01.
  2. ^ "Your Councillors". democracy.bcpcouncil.gov.uk. 2020-04-19. Retrieved 2020-04-19.
  3. ^ https://democracy.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/mgLocationDetails.aspx?RID=8
  4. ^ Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (25 May 2018). "The Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole (Structural Changes) Order 2018". Legislation.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 2018-05-25. Retrieved 2018-05-28.
  5. ^ "Parliament passes councils merger plan". BBC News. 25 May 2018. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  6. ^ "Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole Council will hold meetings at university". Bournemouth Echo. Retrieved 2020-10-05.
  7. ^ "BCP Shadow Authority Hold Inaugural Meeting 06/06/2018". 6 June 2018. Archived from the original on 2018-06-16. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  8. ^ "BCP Shadow Authority (@BCP_SA) - Twitter". twitter.com.
  9. ^ "Vikki Slade named leader of BCP Council as 'Unity Alliance' takes control of new authority". Bournemouth Echo. Retrieved 2020-10-02.
  10. ^ "Two councillors leave Poole People Party to shake off the 'binds of the political whip'". Bournemouth Echo. Retrieved 2020-07-16.
  11. ^ ""We have a lost a wonderful, decent, honourable man and a great servant to Christchurch"". Bournemouth Echo. Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  12. ^ "Explained: What you need to know about tonight's vote of no confidence at BCP Council". Bournemouth Echo. Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  13. ^ "Vote of no confidence motion in BCP Council leader fails by slimmest of margins". Bournemouth Echo. Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  14. ^ "Vote of no confidence lost at BCP Council". www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk. Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  15. ^ "Council leader survives confidence vote". BBC News. 2020-06-10. Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  16. ^ "Passing of Cllr Pete Parrish". www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk. Retrieved 2020-08-27.
  17. ^ Service, Local Democracy Reporting (2020-09-05). "Councillor leaves ruling coalition over 'catalogue of catastrophic policy decisions'". Advertiser and Times. Retrieved 2020-09-23.
  18. ^ ""A catalogue of catastrophic policy decisions": Why this councillor left the coalition running BCP Council". Bournemouth Echo. Retrieved 2020-09-19.
  19. ^ "BCP Council leader ousted from role after vote of no confidence succeeds". Bournemouth Echo. Retrieved 2020-09-19.
  20. ^ "In depth: The vote of no confidence that led to end of BCP Council leader's tenure". Bournemouth Echo. Retrieved 2020-09-19.
  21. ^ "Tories back in control of BCP conurbation after leadership vote". Bournemouth Echo. Retrieved 2020-10-01.
  22. ^ "BCP Council elects Conservative Drew Mellor as new leader". BBC News. 2020-10-02. Retrieved 2020-10-02.
  23. ^ "Your Councillors". democracy.bcpcouncil.gov.uk. 2020-04-19. Retrieved 2020-04-19.
  24. ^ "'A strong and united voice': Five Christchurch Conservatives to stand as independents". Bournemouth Echo. Retrieved 2020-10-04.
  25. ^ "Christchurch Independents open to talks with all parties and groups other than the Conservatives". Bournemouth Echo. Retrieved 2020-10-04.
  26. ^ "Greens and Independents join forces to form Bournemouth Group". Bournemouth Echo. Retrieved 2020-10-04.

External links[edit]