Alongside talk of unitary and devolution, you may have heard the phrase 'combined authority' coming up a lot recently. But what does it actually mean and how would you be affected?
The nine councils across Dorset have been working together on proposals for a combined authority. A combined authority would see them working as one democratically-accountable body around the areas of economic development, regeneration and transport. We've now got to the point where we want to hear from local people and businesses about those proposals. The consultation is open now and runs until 17 June 2016.
Why is a combined authority a good idea for Dorset?
•As we are already aware councils need to transform the way they work in order to be fit for the future – this is a further step in that direction
•A combined authority would provide Dorset with the certainty of structure and accountability to be successful in any devolution deal with Government
•A combined authority would give Dorset one strong voice when bidding for funding or inward investment
•A combined authority would provide speedier decision-making on issues related to strategic economic growth and strategic transport for the area
Six combined authorities have already been established nationally with many other areas also working towards this arrangement. This is an exciting opportunity for Dorset to be part of national change.
Find out more on our combined authority pages and use the short online form to tell us what you think about the proposals. It's a chance for each of us to have a say about an important change to the local government landscape in Dorset. This consultation is about Dorset's proposal for a combined authority and is not about unitary options.
Once the consultation has closed results will be collected, shared with the Secretary of State and then go onto inform Government's decision on establishing a combined authority in Dorset.