Consultation on unitary proposals for Dorset

Dorset’s councils have employed three highly-regarded and experienced external organisations to prepare documents for consideration – in public – by each council on the biggest possible changes to local government in the county for a generation.

On 5 December the elected members of all Dorset’s nine councils received reports from:

  • Opinion Research Services (ORS), on the public consultation carried out 30 August-25 October 2016. The overall consultation analysis results report (you can also read the consultation analysis executive summary) compares findings from the household survey and open consultation questionnaire, features breakdowns of results from each council area and presents the feedback received from stakeholders via all the different consultation activities.
  • PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC), on the case for change (you can also read the case for change executive summary). This assesses each option’s ability to:
    • improve value for money and efficiency
    • deliver significant cost savings, and show that the cost of change can be recovered over a fixed period
    • improve services for local residents
    • provide stronger and more accountable leadership
    • be sustainable in the medium–long term

The financial report from Local Partnerships (a company jointly owned by HM Treasury and the Local Government Association) has already been published:

On 8 December the councillors also had the opportunity to attend detailed in-person briefings from PwC, ORS and Local Partnerships.

Council Leaders met  on 15 December to review the evidence presented within the documents. They also discussed recommendations to put to their respective councils. On 23 December, a public report was published for consideration by each council as part of the democratic process to formally adopt a position. You can also read an Easy Read version of the public report.

Council meetings in January 2017

Each council will take the report through its usual democratic process via meetings in January. These will be followed by Full Council meetings. All these meetings will be open to the public to attend and, in line with each council’s constitution, ask questions. It is not until these have all taken place that a decision will have been made on which, if any, proposal the Dorset councils will submit to the Secretary of State for consideration.

Meeting Date Time Location
Borough of Poole Overview & Scrutiny Committee Thu 5 January 19:00 Civic Centre, Poole
Bournemouth Borough Council Overview & Scrutiny Panel Mon 9 January 17:00 Town Hall, Bournemouth
Borough of Poole Cabinet Tue 10 January 19:00 Civic Centre, Poole
West Dorset District Council Overview & Scrutiny Committee Tue 10 January 14:15 South Walks House, Dorchester
Christchurch Borough Council Scrutiny & Policy Overview Committee Tue 10 January 18:00 Civic Offices, Christchurch
Dorset County Council People & Communities Overview & Scrutiny Committee Wed 11 January 10:00 County Hall, Dorchester
North Dorset District Council Overview & Scrutiny Committee Wed 11 January 14:00 Nordon, Blandford Forum
Weymouth and Portland Borough Council Scrutiny & Performance Committee Thu 12 January 18:30 Council offices, Weymouth
East Dorset Scrutiny and Policy Development Committee Thu 12 January 18:30 Furzehill, Wimborne
West Dorset District Council Executive Committee Mon 16 January 14:15 South Walks House, Dorchester
Christchurch Borough Council Overview and Scrutiny Committee (adjourned from 10 Jan) Mon 16 January 18:00 Civic Offices, Christchurch
Weymouth and Portland Borough Council Management Committee Tue 17 January 09:30 Council Offices, Weymouth
North Dorset District Council Cabinet Mon 23 January 14:00 Nordon, Blandford Forum
Borough of Poole – Full Council Tue 24 January 19:00 Poole Civic Centre
East Dorset District Council Cabinet Wed 25 January 18:30 Furzehill, Wimborne
Bournemouth Borough Council Cabinet Wed 25 January 10:30 Town Hall, Bournemouth
Dorset County Council – Full Council Thu 26 January 10:00 County Hall, Dorchester
West Dorset District Council – Full Council Thu 26 January 14:15 South Walks House, Dorchester
Weymouth and Portland Borough Council – Full Council Thu 26 January 19:00 Council offices, Weymouth
Christchurch Borough Council Policy & Resources Thu 26 January 18:00 Civic Offices, Christchurch
North Dorset District Council – Full Council Fri 27 January 10:00 Nordon, Blandford Forum
East Dorset District Council – Full Council Mon 30 January 18:30 Furzehill, Wimborne
Christchurch Borough Council – Full Council Tue 31 January 18:00 Civic offices, Christchurch
Bournemouth Borough Council – Full Council Tue 31 January 19:00 Town Hall, Bournemouth
Purbeck District Council – Full Council Tue 31 January 19:00 Westport House, Wareham