On 23 May, legislation was passed in both Houses of Parliament, allowing us to create the two new councils for Dorset – one serving the Dorset Area which will be called Dorset Council, and one serving the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Area (BCP). The current nine councils will cease to exist on 31 March 2019, with the two new councils coming into effect on 1 April.
The two ‘Shadow Authorities’, one for each of the new council areas, have now been formed. Each shadow authority will take responsibility for, and oversee the implementation plans for the new councils.
At the first meeting of each of these two shadow authorities, statutory officers were appointed on an interim basis. The three roles are head of paid service, monitoring officer and chief finance officer. Members have also been elected to various, relevant committees.
The budgets for the new councils will be set a meeting in early 2019.
The shadow councils are not involved in ongoing service delivery, as these functions remain with the nine councils that currently exist and will then transfer to the appropriate new council in April next year. The focus for staff for is to continue to deliver services between now and then, and to make plans for smooth continuity on day one of the new councils.