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North Dorset Council Could Join Forces With Weymouth, Portland and West Dorset

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11:20am 4th July 2014
(Updated 11:23am 4th July 2014)

Weymouth and Portland and West Dorset District Council could now join forces with North Dorset in a bid to save £6M.

The local authorities are considering a three-way partnership, which would allow them to get £1.5M of Government funding.

The council's would share systems and the same Chief Exec.

The full bid will be submitted in two parts by 1 October 2014:

Bid 1 from North Dorset District Council (NDDC) will propose the three councils share a chief executive and senior management team by 31 March 2015.

Bid 2 from West Dorset District Council (WDDC) and Weymouth & Portland Borough Council (W&PBC) will propose combining and developing joint services with NDDC.

The local authorities argue that forming a tri-council would do the following:

- Give the councils a stronger voice and larger influence within the county and on a larger stage
- Enable more flexible arrangements for democratic decision making
- Improve strategic planning for infrastructure and services in the three areas, as well as the county and sub-region
- Allow savings from shared systems, processes and services, as well as releasing resources to strengthen and protect the services that customers value most
- Prompt a review of the councils' office accommodation with a view to making savings and driving regeneration
- Enable the councils to pursue commercial opportunities to generate income

In a joint statement, NDDC Leader Deborah Croney, WDDC Leader Robert Gould and Mike Byatt, W&PBC Briefholder for Corporate Affairs and Continuous Improvement, said:

"As the challenge intensifies for local authorities to deliver continuous improvement and still better value for money; the partners are discussing joining together to get the very best from one another's achievements and experiences and to find additional ways to add value to communities at less cost.

"The partners believe that together they could provide a better and more flexible range of services, focussed on the needs and priorities of their communities and at less cost to the taxpayer."

Councillors will consider the business case for the proposal in the Autumn.

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