William Eichler 06 December 2016

Dorset residents support local government ‘shake-up’

Dorset residents support local government ‘shake-up’ image

Residents in Dorset have given their ‘clear backing’ for changing local government structures.

The results of a full public consultation--called Reshaping your Councils--have shown the county’s population supports proposals to reduce the nine councils down to two unitary authorities--despite criticisms the consultation was ‘undemocratic’.

The consultation, which ran from 30 August to 25 October and received 17,000 responses, found almost three-quarters support reducing Dorset’s councils from nine to two.

There was majority support for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole to be served by one new council, with East Dorset, North Dorset, Purbeck, West Dorset & Weymouth & Portland areas served by a second new council.

A detailed study undertaken by PriceWaterhouseCoopers looking at the Government’s five criteria for change also cites a compelling case for local government reorganisation in Dorset.

A financial review found change delivers £108m of savings over the six years after the transition.

A statement from Dorset’s nine council leaders welcomed the findings.

‘We are passionate about the Dorset of the future,’ they said.

‘We are collectively committed to doing the right thing for our residents and for the county – to protect services, to raise Dorset’s profile, to grow the economy, and to generate prosperity and an enhanced lifestyle for all those who live here.

‘Receiving these reports today marks a significant point in our road to securing Dorset’s future, and is testament to our commitment to get this right.’

Scott Bailey, PwC Partner, also commented: ‘The Dorset councils commissioned this report to assess proposals to replace the nine current councils with two new unitary authorities in the county.

‘While the current councils in Dorset are performing and working together well, the evidence suggests that they could achieve even more by reorganising and changing the way in which they operate and deliver services.’

The consultation has, however, been criticised in the past as ‘undemocratic’ and ‘biased’.

Dorset's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Martyn Underhill warned in August that it would only reach one in 10 people. He recommended a referendum would be more democratic.

He also said the option of a single Dorset unitary authority should have been made available.

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Social Worker - SGO & Connected Person Assessment Team

Essex County Council
Special Guardianship Order (SGO) & Connected Person Assessment Team The SGO and Connected Person's Assessment Team (North & Mid) first started in Apri England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Economy & Business Service Manager 

Harborough District Council
£49,350 to £52,368
Looking for an experienced manager who understands public sector responsibilities with the proven ability to deliver our ambitions. Market Harborough, Leicestershire
Recuriter: Harborough District Council

Head of Income and Financial Inclusion

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£48,800 - £66,000 per annum
You’ll have excellent interpersonal and communication skills, with a substantial track record of successful performance management. Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Advanced Practitioner

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£33.600 - £45,400 per annum
Looking for an Advanced practitioner Social workers to join the Adult social services in the... Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Adult Principle Social Worker

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£36,600 - £49,600 per annum
The successful candidate will be a passionate and skilled communicator with ability to work alongside operational Social Workers and... Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how public sector organisations can unlock the hidden value in their land, and why a new approach to construction could help boost the outcomes of the Government’s One Public Estate programme.

The December issue also considers why learnings from ancient cities could provide the key to promoting wellbeing in the modern built environment. It also contains a case study on how the London Borough of Westminster has provided high quality care for the elderly alongside a block of luxury apartments.

Register for your free digital issue