Bournemouth Council

Council meetings to debate changing Dorset local government structures get underway

Posted on Tuesday 3rd January 2017
Council meetings to debate changing Dorset local government structures get underway

This Thursday (5th January 2017) marks the start of formal debate and scrutiny by all Dorset councils of the proposals for changing the county’s local government structures.

A full report setting out on the evidence for local government reorganisation in Dorset was published on Friday 23rd December 2016.  Borough of Poole’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee will discuss the report in a meeting that is open to the public, at the Civic Offices starting at 7pm on 5th January. This is the first of 24 meetings across Dorset’s nine councils – all open to the public – at which the evidence will be scrutinised and the proposals debated.

The report, jointly authored by the six Dorset Chief Executives, recommends that elected members of each council agree that a submission be made to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government requesting that Dorset’s nine councils should be replaced by two new unitary councils.

Based upon the weight of public opinion, financial and other analytical evidence, councillors are also recommended to agree that the two new unitary councils should be comprised of the following existing local authority areas:

  • Unitary A: Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, plus the services currently provided by Dorset County Council in this area.
  • Unitary B: East Dorset, North Dorset, Purbeck, West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland, plus the services currently provided by Dorset County Council in this area.

Matt Prosser, Chief Executive of the Dorset Councils Partnership, and Chairman of the Dorset Chief Executives Group said on behalf of the Dorset councils’ six chief executives:

“Members have had the full package of evidence – the financial assessment, the consultation results and the case for change – since 5th December, giving them good time to review and digest the content.  These meetings are an opportunity for all councillors of every council to debate and discuss the evidence, in their sovereign councils, the report and its recommendations in public, with each authority’s Full Council making a final decision later in the month. Only once each Council has reached a decision will we be able to submit a proposal to the Secretary of State.”

The full recommendations to be considered by councillors are as follows:

That the council agrees:

  1. That there has been a powerful public response acknowledging a compelling case to change local government structures in Dorset.
  2. That a submission should be made to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government requesting that the existing nine county, district and unitary councils should be replaced by two new unitary councils.
  3. That based upon the weight of public opinion and the financial and other analytical evidence the two new unitary councils should be based upon the following local authority boundaries;

Unitary A: Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, plus the services currently provided by Dorset County Council in this area.

Unitary B: East Dorset, North Dorset, Purbeck, West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland, plus the services currently provided by Dorset County Council in this area.

  1. That the Chief Executive be authorised, after consultation with the Leader, to agree the wording of the submission to the Secretary of State demonstrating our ambition for public sector transformation and drawing on the evidence that has been presented to councils, to be made along with any other council that has agreed to support the same option for reorganisation.
  2. That the Chief Executive be authorised, after consultation with the Leader, to work with other councils that support the same option for reorganisation to develop and implement appropriate plan and allocate appropriate resources to progress local government change in Dorset and that a report on next steps be presented in due course.

The full listing of Council meetings is below. Constitutional opportunities for public involvement and representation at meetings can be found on each respective council’s website.

Meeting

Date

Time

Location

Borough of Poole Overview & Scrutiny Committee

Thu 05/01/17

19:00

Civic Centre, Poole

Bournemouth Borough Council Overview & Scrutiny Panel

Mon 09/01/17

17:00

Town Hall, Bournemouth

Borough of Poole Cabinet

Tue 10/01/17

19:00

Civic Centre, Poole

West Dorset District Council Overview & Scrutiny Committee

Tue 10/01/17

14:15

South Walks House, Dorchester

Christchurch Borough Council Scrutiny & Policy Overview Committee

Tue 10/01/17

18:00

Civic Offices, Christchurch

Dorset County Council People & Communities Overview & Scrutiny Committee

Wed 11/01/17

10:00

County Hall, Dorchester

North Dorset District Council Overview & Scrutiny Committee

Wed 11/01/17

14:00

Nordon, Blandford Forum

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council Scrutiny & Performance Committee

Thu 12/01/17

18:30

Council offices, Weymouth

East Dorset Scrutiny and Policy Development Committee

Thu 12/01/17

18:30

Furzehill, Wimborne

West Dorset District Council Executive Committee

Mon 16/01/17

14:15

South Walks House, Dorchester

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council Management Committee

Tue 17/01/17

09:30

Council Offices, Weymouth

North Dorset District Council Cabinet

Mon 23/01/17

14:00

Nordon, Blandford Forum

Borough of Poole - Full Council

Tue 24/01/17

19:00

Poole Civic Centre

East Dorset District Council Cabinet

Wed 25/01/17

18:30

Furzehill, Wimborne

Bournemouth Borough Council Cabinet

Wed 25/01/17

10:30

Town Hall, Bournemouth

Dorset County Council - Full Council

Thu 26/01/17

10:00

County Hall, Dorchester

West Dorset District Council - Full Council

Thu 26/01/17

14:15

South Walks House, Dorchester

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council - Full Council

Thu 26/01/17

19:00

Council offices, Weymouth

Christchurch Borough Council Policy & Resources

Thu 26/01/17

18:00

Civic Offices, Christchurch

North Dorset District Council - Full Council

Fri 27/01/17

10:00

Nordon, Blandford Forum

East Dorset District Council - Full Council

Mon 30/01/17

18:30

Furzehill, Wimborne

Christchurch Borough Council - Full Council

Tue 31/01/17

18:00

Civic offices, Christchurch

Bournemouth Borough Council - Full Council

Tue 31/01/17

19:00

Town Hall, Bournemouth

Purbeck District Council - Full Council

Tue 31/01/17

19:00

Westport House, Wareham