Laura Sharman 04 July 2014

Dorset councils propose shared working

Three Dorset councils are considering sharing a senior management team and developing joint services as part of a bid for transformation funding.

North Dorset District Council, West Dorset District Council and Weymouth & Portland Borough Council are bidding for almost £1.5m from the government's Transformation Challenge Award fund.

The first bid proposes the three councils share a chief executive and senior management team by March 2015, and the second proposes combining and developing joint services.

The councils say the tri-authority partnership will give the councils a stronger voice within the county, achieve cost savings of £6m by 2019/20, and improve strategic planning for infrastructure and services in the three areas.

In a joint statement, NDDC leader Deborah Croney, WDDC leader Robert Gould and Mike Byatt, W&PBC briefholder for corporate affairs and continuous improvement, said: ‘As the challenge intensifies for local authorities to deliver continuous improvement and still better value for money; the partners are discussing joining together to get the very best from one another’s achievements and experiences and to find additional ways to add value to communities at less cost.

‘The partners believe that together they could provide a better and more flexible range of services, focussed on the needs and priorities of their communities and at less cost to the taxpayer.’

A business case will now be worked up and a full bid will be submitted in October 2014.

The Transformation Challenge Award will provide councils with up £410m to transform the way they deliver local services.

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