Dorset councils merger plan moves forward

Bournemouth Image copyright Donald Cusack
Image caption If the new structure is approved by parliament it would start from April 2019

Plans to merge Dorset's councils into two authorities have been voted on by all nine councils allowing them to seek parliament's approval.

Six councils have backed the change to replace Dorset's nine authorities - three councils rejected the plans.

The proposed change will now be submitted to the secretary of state for communities and local government, Sajid Javid.

If the merger is approved by parliament it would start from April 2019.

Dorset County Council, Borough of Poole, West Dorset District Council, North Dorset District Council and Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and Bournemouth all voted in favour of the merger.

East Dorset District Council, Christchurch, Purbeck voted against replacing Dorset's nine councils with two.

An eight-week public consultation which ran from 30 August to 25 October also showed the majority of residents supported moving to two councils.

Merger proposals

  • To create two new unitary councils.
  • Unitary A: Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.
  • Unitary B: East Dorset, North Dorset, Purbeck, West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland.
  • The new structure is expected to save about £108m over six years.
  • The merger was proposed after it was revealed the authorities had to make £200m of savings by 2019.
  • If the change goes ahead about 450 council jobs are expected to be lost
  • Councillor roles are also expected to be cut from the current 331 to about 180.

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