Dorset

Purbeck council may join Christchurch and East Dorset partnership

Two Dorset councils that work in partnership have been approached by a third authority looking to save money.

Purbeck District Council has said it is interested in sharing services with Christchurch Borough Council and East Dorset District Council.

The Christchurch and East Dorset Partnership was founded in January 2011 and the councils are planning to combine their headquarters.

All three authorities are expected to make a decision in the early autumn.

Christchurch council leader Ray Nottage said: "The government continues to encourage joint working between councils and, with the financial risk which is being transferred to local government, sharing services between a number of councils helps to mitigate this."

East Dorset council leader Spencer Flower said: "It makes perfect sense for Purbeck District Council to join with our partnership working as it will enable all three councils to make further savings by streamlining services and removing duplication.

"The sharing of services does not mean losing identity, sovereignty or local democratic accountability. All of these can be protected through a legal agreement."

Purbeck council leader Gary Suttle said: "There is more work to be done before we can make a formal decision to move forward with this project but we are very optimistic that any obstacles can be overcome and all three councils will have a bright future working in partnership."

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