Should the individual towns of Bournemouth, Christchurch or Poole apply for city status– or even the three towns combined?
That is the question being put to the mayors of these three towns, as The Queen intends award new city status to areas as part of her Jubilee celebrations in 2022, and councils can bid for the honour via a competitive process.
Leader of BCP Council, Cllr Drew Mellor said: “In many ways, the BCP area is regarded as a single place, for example in terms of harmonising local government service provision or attracting inward investment. However, our strongly held view is that we must at all times respect, protect and celebrate the sovereign status of all three towns so we feel it is correct for the civic leaders of each of these towns to determine whether they wish their area to apply for city status. I have therefore written to the mayor of each town to ask for the next meeting of the Town Council or Chartered Trustees to consider this matter. Depending on the outcome of those decisions, BCP Council will take action or no action accordingly. I’m really clear – it should be the Town Council or Chartered Trustees decision, not BCP Council’s.
“It could well be that none of the three towns feel that they want to apply. Or it could be that one or more decide they would like to put forward a bid. There are no strict criteria that need to be considered, such as the need to have a cathedral. However, if we are to apply for city status for all or part of our area, we must do so in the knowledge that we have the support of our civic representatives, since this is an honour from the Queen herself, one that has the potential to benefit our area and the people who live here for generations to come.”
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