Dorset Council goes live on April 1, replacing district and borough councils, East Dorset, North Dorset, Purbeck, West Dorset, Weymouth & Portland, and Dorset County Council.
This reorganisation includes the new Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council, separate from the new Dorset Council.
Dorset Council’s chief executive (designate), Matt Prosser said:
“It’s been a challenge to disband six councils and create one unitary authority, but I thank colleagues and elected councillors for their hard work and commitment. This is the right move for Dorset, enabling us to protect frontline services for residents by reducing back office duplication and management overheads. Like many councils across the country, all Dorset councils have faced significant budget pressures over recent years. By moving from six councils to one we can ensure our resources are used where they are needed most, to provide the day-to-day services Dorset residents rely on.”
The council’s first budget – for 2019-20 – ensures all existing council services continue unchanged and provides an increase in funding to a number of priority areas.
After April 1, Dorset Council will prepare for local elections on May 2, when residents can vote for 82 councillors to represent each of the new council divisions.