Laura Sharman 01 February 2017

Six Dorset councils back merger plan

Six councils in Dorset are to ask local government minister Sajid Javid to abolish the nine existing councils in the county and replace them with two new unitary authorities.

Bournemouth, Dorset County, North Dorset, Poole, West Dorset, and Weymouth & Portland have backed the proposal to create two new unitaries.

They will now ask Mr Javid to use his powers of intervention to change the structure of local government in the county.

Chairman of the Dorset Chief Executives Group, said: ‘We are collectively committed to doing the right thing for our residents and for the whole of 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.

‘All the evidence shows that this proposal will do just that and more, and we will use the mandate given to us by six of the councils wisely to effect positive change.'

East Dorset District Council, Purbeck District Council and Christchurch Borough Council all voted against backing the plans.

If approved by Mr Javid, the new councils could ‘go live’ in April 2019, with full elections in May 2019.

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