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16,000+ Dorset residents have their say in Reshaping Your Councils consultation

Thousands of residents from across Dorset have taken part in a wide-ranging consultation on proposals for the future of local government in the county.

A household survey was undertaken, based on a representative sample of the Dorset population. Questionnaires were sent to 20,000 addresses selected at random from all addresses in each of Dorset’s local authority areas. 4,258 residents responded. The response numbers by each Council area are as follows:

 Council Area Number 
 Poole  781
 Bournemouth  670
 East Dorset  554
 West Dorset  508
 Christchurch  459
 Purbeck  453
 North Dorset  439
 Weymouth & Portland  391
 Unknown  3
   
 Total  4,258


The household survey responses will be statistically weighted to take account of the size of the population in each local authority area and different response rates for different types of households. This ensures that the household survey results are statistically reliable and representative of the whole population in each area.

The open consultation questionnaire gave all Dorset residents and other stakeholder the chance to have their say; and a total of 12,536 responses were received.

 Council Area  Number
 Poole  2,625
 Bournemouth
 2,048
 East Dorset  1,433
 West Dorset  1,414
 Christchurch  1,409
Weymouth & Portland  694
 Purbeck  656
 North Dorset  632
 Outside of Dorset  61
 Unknown/Not Stated  1,564
   
 Total  12,536

Sixteen facilitated workshops were also undertaken throughout the consultation period, with residents, town and parish councils, businesses and the voluntary sector. In addition, further separate responses and written representations were received from hundreds of stakeholders including businesses, voluntary sector groups, public sector partners, MPs, service user groups, town & parish councils, residents’ groups and other organisations.
Andrew Flockhart, Chief Executive of Poole Borough Council, said on behalf of all Councils, “I am delighted that so many thousands of residents took the time to read the detailed information provided, consider their response and tell us what they think about the proposals to replace Dorset’s nine existing councils with two new unitary authorities.”
He continued, “Opinion Research Services (ORS) will now analyse the data, present the findings and produce a full and detailed report, which will be available online at www.reshapingyourcouncils.uk on 5th December, along with the detailed Case for Change that is being prepared by Price Waterhouse Coopers.”
The ORS report will include overall results for the whole of Dorset, compare findings from the household survey and open consultation questionnaire, feature breakdowns of results from each council area and present the feedback received from stakeholders via all the different consultation activities.
Price Waterhouse Coopers’ case for change will assess each option for its ability to meet the government’s ‘statutory tests’ of:
  • improving value for money and efficiency
  • delivering significant cost savings, and show that the cost of change can be recovered over a fixed period
  • improving services for local residents
  • providing stronger and more accountable leadership
  • being sustainable in the medium–long term.

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