Laura Sharman 16 September 2014

Dorset councils consider tri-partnership

Three councils in Dorset are considering joining forces under plans to save £6m by 2020.

North Dorset District Council, West Dorset District Council and Weymouth & Portland Borough Council are considering forming a tri-partnership, which would see all three councils sharing one workforce.

Under the plans, each council would remain independent by setting its own budget and having its own councillors. However, as well as sharing a workforce, the arrangement would see the councils sharing ICT systems and office space, rationalising their assets and exploring new commercial opportunities.

The council leaders said the ‘radical’ decision was being considered after a 50% reduction in government funding.

A statement said: ‘Radical decisions are being considered because all three councils are ambitious to provide better value-for-money services and yet are facing very difficult financial situations.

‘Together the councils believe they could provide more flexible services at a reduced cost to the tax payer. These plans will be considered very carefully by each council before any decisions are taken.’

The business case for the tri-authority partnership will be considered by councillors this autumn.

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