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Government approves plans for Dorset councils merger

Monday 5th March, 2018

The government has given the green light to plans to create two new unitary councils in Dorset. Local Government Minister, Sajid Javid, announced that he will progress his initial decision to create two new unitary authorities in the county, replacing the existing nine councils.

Under the plans, all nine councils would cease to exist and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole would merge to create one council. The second council made up of East Dorset, North Dorset, Purbeck, Weymouth & Portland and West Dorset will serve the rest of the county.

The BBC reports, that the new structure aims at saving £108m over six years and would come into effect in April 2019.

In a joint comment, the council leaders said, “Our strong track record of partnership working in Dorset, whether through shared Chief Executives and management teams or joint service delivery, demonstrates our ability to put in place creative and innovative ways of working, and shows we will always put the provision & preservation of essential frontline public services and the interests of our residents first.

Cllr Rebecca Knox, Chair of the Dorset Area Joint Committee and Leader of Dorset County Council said, "As a Joint Committee we have already begun the work needed to take this huge step forward to providing better, joined-up services, that make sense for residents across the breadth of the county area."