TORIES have vowed to fight to stop Ellesmere Port being 'chucked out' of Cheshire.
Conservative politicians on the borough council want to halt any moves to merge it with Wirral Borough Council.
Instead, councillors of all political colours in Ellesmere Port and Neston support the idea of a future merger with Chester City Council under a local government shake-up.
No-one yet knows what form this reorganisation will take and the Boundary Committee for England, which will make the final decision, is still examining all options.
Suggestions include merging the city with the borough, making the county council the only body running the whole of Cheshire and merging the borough with Wirral. It is this last proposal which has caused the most anger.
Tory councillor Gareth Anderson said: 'The Boundary Committee's own research showed that fewer than 2% of Ellesmere Port and Neston people held any affinity with anywhere in Wirral.
'In fact, more people said they identified with Liverpool.
'The Conservative Party's official submission deliberately did not declare a preference because we know that people feel very strongly on this issue.
'We instead allowed local members and council groups to individually express a view.
'We did not ride roughshod over the feeling of community in our towns and we'll fight any moves to shift Ellesmere Port and Neston from where we belong - firmly in Cheshire.'
In September, the borough council gave all-party support to the idea of merging the body with Chester.
And there was all-party opposition to the idea of a single unitary authority for the whole of Cheshire. Unsurprisingly, the county council prefers to remain as the only authority covering Cheshire.
It has claimed scrapping the individual borough councils would save taxpayers millions of pounds.
But Ellesmere Port and Neston Borough Council's and Labour leader, Fred Venables, urged residents to be 'sceptical' of this claim.
He said these figures had not been verified by the Audit Commission, the Government's financial watchdog.
Cllr Venables explained that a single council covering the whole of Cheshire would mean Ellesmere Port and Neston losing their individual identities.
And he said of the proposal to merge the borough with Wirral: 'Our future is not in Wirral.' The proposals can be viewed on the Boundary Committee for England's website at www.boundarycommittee.org.uk.