Dorset

BCP council: Job cuts and office closures proposed

Dorset coastline
Image caption The single council has covered Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole since April

More than 600 jobs could be cut and council offices closed in the next stage of restructuring a recently-merged council.

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole councils joined to form BCP Council earlier this year.

A review, commissioned by the authority, recommended creating a single office "hub" and cutting posts to save up to £37m.

BCP said it was a "bold and ambitious" plan.

The report sets out proposals for a "centrally-located council hub" with smaller "spokes", such as depots, running alongside it as part of the next phase of the merger.

It also advocated flexible working such as hot desking and working from home, reports the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Mr Osgathorpe said no decision had been made on whether the hub would be an existing building or whether a new headquarters would be created.

Other sites deemed not to be required would then either be redeveloped or sold.

The review, carried out by KPMG, also outlined the potential to cut between the equivalent of 421 and 622 full-time jobs.

Total savings for the next phase of the merger are forecast to be between £22 million and £36.8 million.

Mr Osgathorpe said the council hoped to limit redundancies by not replacing some employees.

"There's no doubt this is a big job and there will be difficult times."

"What we are talking about is creating a council that is fit for purpose in the 21st century and which is capable of adapting into the future."

The authority has not disclosed the cost of the review.

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