William Eichler 31 January 2017

East Dorset rejects unitary council proposals

East Dorset rejects unitary council proposals image

East Dorset District Council has rejected proposals to replace the county’s nine councils with two unitary councils.

A financial review found reducing the number of councils could deliver £108m of savings over the six years following the transition.

A public consultation on the proposals, which received 17,000 responses out of a population of 765,700, found almost three-quarters supported the reforms.

On top of this, five of the nine councils have voted in favour of overhauling the local government arrangements, with the remaining three due to vote today.

Commenting on East Dorset’s vote, council leader Spencer Flower said: ‘Changes to the structure of local government in Dorset would present an historic opportunity to transform our services at a time when budgets are being cut and our priority must be protecting frontline services.

‘Whilst the majority of members of this council may not support the case for change, if other councils in Dorset choose to make a submission to the secretary of state, the final decision regarding local government reorganisation will not be ours to make.’

‘It is now vital that East Dorset continues to engage in this process to ensure we get the best possible outcome for our residents,’ he added.

The consultation has been criticised 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.

Once each council has reached a decision, those who agree to the proposed changes will be able to submit a proposal to the secretary of state for communities and local government, Sajid Javid. This would formally request the changes be approved by Parliament.

Mr Javid has the power to impose change on an area if he thinks there is a strong case and benefits.

If the reforms are agreed to, the new councils would ‘go live’ in April 2019.

Mobilising the social care workforce image

Mobilising the social care workforce

A continued drive towards more mobile public services is needed to help overcome social care challenges in the bleak winter months, says David McKinney.
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Social Worker - Children in Care

Essex County Council
£30906 - £42254 per annum + + Free on site parking & Benefits Package
Social Worker - Children in CarePermanent Full Time£30,906 to £42,254 per annum plus free on site parkingLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Experienced Social Worker

Northumberland County Council
£32,029 - £35,934
At Northumberland County Council we are proud of our employees, who are... Northumberland
Recuriter: Northumberland County Council

Social Worker

Northumberland County Council
We are seeking suitably qualified experienced social workers with at least 2 years frontline Social Work experience who... Northumberland
Recuriter: Northumberland County Council


Northumberland County Council
£28,672 - £32,234 per annum
We are looking for an enthusiastic and commercially aware surveyor to join us to undertake a range of interesting and challenging work. Northumberland
Recuriter: Northumberland County Council

Senior Programme Officer (Transport)

Northumberland County Council
£32,910 - £36,922
As a Senior Programme Officer for strategic transport, you will play a pivotal role in shaping the strategic direction of transport policy for... Northumberland
Recuriter: Northumberland County Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue