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Reshaping Your Councils consultation closes

Dorset’s nine councils are jointly thanking the thousands of residents, businesses and other stakeholders who have taken the time to have their say in the Reshaping Your Councils consultation.

Tony Williams, Chief Executive of Bournemouth Council said, on behalf of the nine local authorities: “We have been heartened with the level of engagement local people have shown, with thousands stopping to chat or pick up more information at the 40-plus roadshows that took place across the county, attend residents’ meetings and complete the survey. I would like to thank each and every person and organisation who took the time to read and digest the wealth of detailed information available, and subsequently fill in the questionnaire.” He added, “In particular, thank you to those randomly-selected residents in the household survey who took the time to take part.”

The eight-week consultation, conducted by independent experts ORS and run in line with best-practice principles, has now closed, although any surveys received after the 25th October deadline that are postmarked 25th October or before will still be included in the analysis.

Dorset’s Councils have employed three highly-regarded and experienced external organisations to prepare documents for consideration, in public, by each council. Local Partnerships, a company jointly owned by HM Treasury and the Local Government Association, has produced a financial report.  ORS are now working on the consultation analysis report, and Price Waterhouse Coopers are preparing the case for change. This will assess 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.

All elected members will receive the ORS and PwC reports on 5th December (the LP report has already been published), and have the opportunity to attend detailed in-person briefings from PwC, ORS and Local Partnerships.  Council Leaders will then meet to look at the evidence presented within the documents, and discuss recommendations to put to their respective councils.  On 23rd December, a public report will be published for consideration by each council as part of the democratic process to formally adopt a position.

Tony Williams explained: “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.”

The full schedule of public council meetings is as follows:

Council

Location

Full Council

Borough of Poole

Civic Centre, Poole

24/01/16

7pm

Dorset County Council

County Hal, Dorchester

26/01/16

10am

West Dorset District Council

 

South Walks House, Dorchester

26/01/16

2.15pm

Weymouth & Portland Borough Council

 

Council Offices, Weymouth

26/01/16

7pm

North Dorset District Council

 

Norden Offices, Blandford

27/01/16

10am

East Dorset District Council

 

Council Offices, Furzehill, Wimborne

30/01/16

6.30pm

 

Christchurch Borough Council

Civic Offices, Christchurch

31/01/16

6pm

Bournemouth Borough Council

Town Hall, Bournemouth

31/01/16

7pm

Purbeck District Council

 

Westport House, Wareham

31/01/16

7pm