The Mayor of Portland has invited the boss of Boots to join her on a one-and-a-half mile walk from Underhill to the Boots pharmacy in Tophill.

At a meeting of Portland Town Council on Wednesday, Cllr Carralyn Parkes raised her “deep concerns” about the planned closure of the pharmacy.

The pharmacy has a history of more than 100 years in Fortuneswell and has been described as a “local institution”.

She raised the issue and called on the council to write to the Independent Care Board, NHS Dorset's Chief Medical Officer, Paul Johnson, and Chief Executive, Patricia Miller, The Secretary of State for Health, Victoria Atkins, Richard Drax MP, the Chief Executive of Dorset Council and Royal Manor Healthcare, calling on them to make representations to Boots to keep the pharmacy open.

She also called on the council to produce a paper petition based on the wording used in the online petition started by Portland resident Nigel Blacoe.

She also called for a public meeting to give the views of local people regarding the closure.

Cllr Parkes also said: “We would like to invite Sebastian James [CEO of Boots] to join us in a walk from the Gatehouse surgery in Underhill where people would pick up their prescriptions, all the way up this one and a half miles to this surgery in Easton so that he can see just how difficult it is actually going to be for ordinary residents to access this healthcare.

“We would love Mr James to join us, I will even put on my mayor’s chains and hold hands with him as we walk up the hill.”

Cllr Tim Woodcock told the meeting: “Whilst I hope what your proposing has success and you maintain the chemist in Underhill, my gut feeling is when a man talks about 300 other sites across the UK that the realism may be that they may just go ahead and close it.

“If that outcome, as a council we need to look at supporting other organisations and chemists that do want to come to Portland and provide a service to people.”

Cllr Sandy West said: “It is an absolute travesty.

“They need to come and see how geographically different we are from everywhere else.

“I am worried about how people will manage.”

Members of the council voted unanimously in favour of the proposals by Cllr Parkes.