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Christchurch apologises after ending reorganisation challenge

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Christchurch BC has accepted it will be abolished following the failure of its latest legal challenge to local government reorganisation in Dorset.

In a statement today, Christchurch leader David Flagg (Con) apologised to residents after it was last week refused leave to appeal a High Court ruling in July.

Christchurch had claimed that former housing and communities secretary Sajid Javid acted unlawfully when he passed legislation to turn Dorset’s nine councils into two new unitary councils.

Last week’s ruling left the council with a £100,000 legal bill.

Cllr Flagg said after considering legal advice, the council has opted to “focus our work on getting the best for residents” ahead of reorganisation in April next year.

He added: “Whilst we are of course extremely disappointed with the decision of the judge the council has fought to represent the wishes of our residents throughout this process.

“Having pursued every avenue available to us we must now accept that the council will be abolished next year.

“We apologise that we were not successful in keeping Christchurch independent and thank all the residents who supported us in our attempts.”

Christchurch initially launched a bid for a judicial review in May “to protect its sovereignty”. A government lawyer subsequently described the legal challenge as “unacceptable” and “an absurd intention to impute Parliament”.

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