A report outlining the budget proposals for the new Dorset Council has been published, ahead of Shadow Executive Committee on 11 February.
Councillors will be asked to approve the budget proposals before going to full council on 20 February for final agreement. This includes information on how the council tax is set.
It is proposed for all residents in the new Dorset Council area to pay the same council tax rate from 1 April 2019 – the first day of the new unitary authority’s existence. This is called Council Tax Harmonisation. This avoids residents in one part of the new council area contributing more to the cost of services than others.
Previously, rates varied across the 5 district and borough councils. Council tax helps to pay for many local services like care for vulnerable children and adults, road maintenance and rubbish collection.
Council tax is charged on the household. It is based on the value of the property and not on what the household earns. The amount of council tax you pay depends on which property band your home is in and any discounts or exemptions that apply. The average ‘Band D’ rate for Dorset Council is proposed to be £1629.75 per year.
The Shadow Dorset Council has announced four appointments to Dorset Council’s senior leadership team.
The Shadow Council met on Thursday 13 December to consider recommendations for the statutory Section 151 and Monitoring Officer roles. The recommendations were proposed by Member Appointments Panels following a thorough recruitment process over the autumn.
The Shadow Council agreed for Aidan Dunn to be appointed to the role of Executive Director (Corporate Development S151). Aidan is currently Interim Corporate Director of Growth, Highways and Infrastructure (GHI), Suffolk County Council.
Jonathan Mair was agreed as Corporate Director (Legal & Democratic Services Monitoring Officer). Jonathan is currently Interim Monitoring Officer, Shadow Dorset Council.
The Shadow Dorset Council also announced two more senior level appointments.
Sarah Parker has been appointed Executive Director of People – Children. Sarah is currently Acting Director Delivery and Value and Acting Director Public Service Reform, London Borough Hammersmith and Fulham.
John Sellgren will join as Executive Director of Place. Previous roles include Chief Executive, Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council and Director of Strategy and Partnerships, Hertfordshire County Council.
On Wednesday 19 December, Mathew Kendall was confirmed as Executive Director of People – Adults. Mathew will join Dorset Council from the London Borough of Barnet where he is currently Director of Adults and Communities.
Ward boundaries for the new Dorset Council have been published by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE).
The Commission has drawn up the boundaries following an electoral review of the area currently covered by East Dorset, North Dorset, Purbeck, Weymouth & Portland and West Dorset district councils.
The review creates new wards that will be represented by Dorset Council’s 82 councillors. The new arrangements will come into effect at the council’s first elections next year.
A review of ward boundaries for the new Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council has taken place at the same time.
The Commission’s final recommendations propose that Dorset’s 82 councillors should represent six three-councillor wards, eighteen two-councillor wards and twenty-eight one-councillor wards.
In response to local feedback during the public consultation, the Commission has changed some of the proposals it put forward in July.
The changes, and the full recommendations, are available on the Commission’s website at www.lgbce.org.uk.
The proposed new arrangements must now be implemented by Parliament. A draft Order – the legal document which brings into force the recommendations – will be laid in Parliament in the coming weeks. The draft Order provides for the electoral arrangements to come into force at the authority’s first elections in 2019.
The second meeting of the full Shadow Council will take place tonight, from 6.30pm, at South Walks House in Dorchester.
You can join us by watching the meeting online via Live Stream: https://youtu.be/KsRNrlcenWg
Agenda items include the formal appointment of the Chief Executive for Dorset Council, Matt Prosser, and the proposed structure for the senior management team.
Keep up-to-date with the latest programme news on this website, where you can find all the meeting papers and agendas.
As always, if you any queries, email ShapingDorsetCouncil@dorsetcc.gov.uk
In an exciting step for the new unitary authority in Dorset, the first recommended appointment has been announced.
The Shadow Senior Appointments Committee has recommended that Matt Prosser should be appointed as the Chief Executive of Dorset Council, which goes live in April 2019. This recommendation will be put forward to the full Shadow Council at its meeting on 27 September for agreement.
The decision to recommend that Matt Prosser should be appointed as the first Chief Executive of the new council follows a national search to identify the best candidate to lead the staff of the new council and a thorough recruitment process which started in early June, overseen by independent advisors.
Matt Prosser is currently Chief Executive of the Dorset Councils Partnership, serving: North Dorset, West Dorset and Weymouth & Portland Councils and is the Interim Shadow Head of Paid Service for Dorset Council.
Dorset Council and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council will be first new local authorities to be formed in the UK for ten years. The county is reducing the number of local authorities from nine to two in order to deliver local services more effectively and efficiently. The move to unitary authorities is anticipated to protect frontline services, reduce costs and give better value for money, with around £108m of savings expected in the first six years.
Cllr Spencer Flower, Chairman of the Shadow Senior Appointments Committee said:
“We are delighted to recommend Matt as the Chief Executive of the new council. This has been a tough process for all involved, but we are certain this decision is the right one and that Matt will continue to deliver this programme of change, which is the most exciting opportunity for local government in Dorset for over 40 years”.
Further details on the appointment will follow in due course, once the Full Shadow Council has met on 27 September.
The Shadow Dorset Council has joined other councils across the UK in signing the Government’s Local Digital Declaration. The declaration demonstrates a collective commitment to use the power of digital technology to improve services, benefiting people and communities.
Cllr Rebecca Knox, Leader of Dorset Shadow Council, said:
‘In Dorset, we are committed to making a difference for our residents and communities, designing services to meet their needs. It’s an exciting time, with lots of opportunity to connect and empower people and deliver services in innovative ways. We want to make the most of technology so people can find information or deal with us in the way and at a time that suits them.
‘The impact can be simple – getting travel updates on your mobile phone, applying for a school place online or reporting a missed bin on a tablet. But it can also be life-changing. ‘Assistive technology’ can help give people with severely reduced mobility more independence at home, using voice-activated tools such as Amazon Alexa to dictate a shopping list, switch on lights and the heating, or turn up the volume on their television – tasks that they hadn’t previously been able to do.’
Dorset is delivering real digital change in a variety of ways. A network of digital champions in the community – part of the Routes to Inclusion Partnership – is helping people who lack basic digital skills. SmartSole slippers worn by dementia patients carry a non-invasive tracking tool to alert a carer if the person wearing them wanders too far from home. And the new Dorsetforyou website has been redesigned to meet Government Digital Services standards and focus on what customers really want to find on the site.
The Local Digital Declaration embodies five principles of local public services in the internet age. These are:
- Going further to redesign services around the needs of the people using them.
- ‘Fixing the plumbing’ to break the dependence on inflexible and expensive technology that doesn’t join up effectively.
- Designing safe, secure and useful ways of sharing information
- Demonstrating digital leadership, creating the conditions for genuine organisational transformation to happen.
- Embedding an open culture that values, incentivises and expects digital ways of working from every member of our workforce.
Read more about the declaration on the Local Digital website.