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Govt Gives Council Partnership £ 1.5 Million

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9:42am 29th November 2014

A ground breaking partnership between three Dorset Council's has been awarded £1.565,450 by the Government.

Weymouth and Portland, West Dorset and North Dorset are planning to work together to reduce their costs by £6 million by 2020.

The proposals will see the appointment of a joint chief exec, a senior management team and shared operating systems such as IT.

The following 12 - 36 months will focus on bringing employees together to deliver services, improve working between councillors and rationalise office accommodation.

The councils have already secured £600,000 from the 2014/15 TCA fund for agreeing to share a chief executive by 31 March 2015.

In a joint statement Leader of North Dorset District Council Deborah Croney, Leader of West Dorset District Council Robert Gould and Chairman of Weymouth & Portland Borough Council Management Committee Mike Byatt said:

"We are delighted that our bid to the Government for £1.5 million has been successful.

"Our tri-partnership is leading the way for authorities nationwide. This award shows that central Government recognises our successes so far and has confidence in what we can go on to achieve together in the future.

"What it means in real terms is that we will have the resources to develop the partnership but, most importantly, continue to deliver valuable services for our residents and customers on a day to day basis."

Under the partnership each council will remain independent and equal.

Each will have its own councillors who will continue to make local decisions about services. Each council will continue to set its own budget, council tax and maintain its own identity and sovereignty.

The tri-council partnership will serve more than 235,000 people and cover more than half the shire county of Dorset and so will enjoy shared strategic direction and greater influence.

Government funding to all three councils has been reduced by more than 50 per cent in the five years up to 2015/2016. Reductions are likely to continue regardless of which political party forms future Governments.

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