New Shadow Dorset Council To Meet

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New Shadow Dorset Council To Meet

The first meeting of the Shadow Dorset Council will take place this week, following recent parliamentary approval of the Structural Change Order to create a new unitary council for Dorset.

All 174 Councillors for the Dorset Area (drawn from the existing Dorset area councils) have been invited to attend the meeting on Thursday 7 June (6.30pm) at South Walks House, Dorchester. The meeting will be held in public and anyone interested in hearing about the work being done by councillors to establish a new council for Dorset is welcome to attend.
We will also be live streaming the meeting from 6.30pm. A podcast will be available after the event.

At this first meeting the Shadow Council will be asked to:
• agree its constitution and code of conduct
• approve shadow executive arrangements
• appoint councillors to committees of the Shadow Council.
• appoint statutory officers on an interim basis to the roles of the Head of Paid Service, Monitoring Officer and Chief Finance Officer

The Shadow Council will meet on at least another two occasions, to appoint a Chief Executive and also to agree the new council’s budget.

A Shadow Executive Committee of 20 councillors will meet more frequently. The Shadow Executive Committee will be responsible for an implementation plan and overseeing the detail of the arrangements to establish the new Dorset Council.

Legislation recently passed in both Houses of Parliament means that Dorset residents will be served by two brand new multi-purpose councils from April 2019 – Dorset Council and Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole Council. The county’s nine current councils will cease to exist on 31st March 2019.

The focus of the preceding nine councils is to continue to deliver all services between now and April 2019, and make plans for smooth service continuity on day one of the new councils.

The Leaders of the six existing Dorset area councils Cllr Rebecca Knox for Dorset, Cllr Spencer Flower for East Dorset, Cllr Gary Suttle for Purbeck, Cllr Graham Carr-Jones for North Dorset, Cllr Anthony Alford for West Dorset and Cllr Jeff Cant for Weymouth & Portland said:
“The first meeting of the Shadow Dorset Council is a historic occasion and an important day for local government in Dorset.
“We would like to thank Members of the Dorset Area Joint Committee for their hard work and progress to date. Their work will continue through the newly set up Shadow Executive Committee.
“The creation of the Shadow Dorset Council is a big step forwards in bringing all Councillors from the Dorset Area together. We want to make sure that the new council is created in an open and inclusive way. Councillors will be part of the decision making process and we look forward to hearing their ideas and those of the wider community.
“We have a lot of work to do in the months ahead in ensuring key senior staff are appointed and setting the budget, but it will be great to do this with everyone in the same room working together to address the opportunities and challenges which we will inevitably face in creating our new council.”

The agenda and papers for the first meeting of the Shadow Dorset Council can be found HERE:

Watch the first meeting of the Shadow Dorset Council LIVE via our livestream from 6.30pm