West Moors changes from Parish to Town

West Moors council has decided to change its name from Parish Council to Town Council.

The change took place without consultation with its residents and was announced on its website and social media channels this week.

West Moors has a population of just over 7,500 and sits between Three Legged Cross/Verwood and Ferndown. It has had a Parish Council for over 60 years and consists of 12 members representing the Civil Parish.

As a Council, they meet 12 times a year at the Pavilion, Fryer Field on Thursdays.

The Council employs a Town Clerk, an Assistant to the Town Clerk and three other part-time employees.

The message to residents says:

“As you will know, there was a major change in the local government organisation of Dorset last year with the creation of the Unitary Authority of Dorset Council. This has meant in practice that there is no longer an East Dorset District Council and your local Council has taken on many more services and responsibilities and expects to be required to take on even more in the future. West Moors has over 7,500 residents and is the 15th largest population in Dorset (out of 164 settlements). Dorset Council recently issued a Draft Local Plan to be produced by 2024 which shows that West Moors is categorised as Tier 2 – Towns and Other Main Settlements within the proposed Settlement Hierarchy.

West Moors has very clearly defined boundaries and there will not be a change to its nature or character by this change of name. It may mean that the Council is better placed to protect and enhance what we already have and can respond positively to any future challenges. The costs of this change will be small, mainly being changes in signs; letterheads, invoices etc are printed ‘as required’ so no additional cost. A Town Council is not required to have a mayor.

The change of name from Parish to Town will also help to clarify the difference between the Civil Parish and the Church (Ecclesiastical) Parish as, unfortunately, the office has had many enquiries for booking for Christenings and Confirmations.

Your Council will continue to protect and enhance the facilities and social life of West Moors and ensure that the community continues to thrive.”

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