After a nine month wait, the Rt Hon Savid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has announced that he is “minded to” implement our Future Dorset proposal for improving local government in Dorset, by replacing the existing nine councils with two new unitary authorities. I am absolutely delighted!
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to improve people’s quality of life and their prosperity and deliver a new vision for Dorset. We want a place where people want to live, visit, learn and work: a place of aspiration where plans are made and ambitions achieved, with an economy that works for local people.
We want a place that competes on an international stage, rivalling the iconic coastal economies of the world. We want a healthy, prosperous, vibrant and inclusive place for everyone to enjoy.
In the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area we want to create a 21st Century City by the sea, with significant growth in digital and knowledge-based economies, investment in skills and cutting-edge research and development.
We want a nationally significant arts and culture offer and housing that supports growth and meets local needs.
We want a modern public service delivery that is good value for money and meets the needs of our communities.
And we want to open both new councils in April 2019!
Before the Secretary of state takes his final decision, there is a period until 8 January 2018 for any representations to be made. This could be confirmed support for the proposal, any suggested modifications to the proposal, or indeed any alternative proposals.
However, we will be getting on with the work straight away in preparation. As I am sure you can imagine, there is a lot to do!
This is a very exciting time to be part of local government in Dorset, with the opportunity to deliver a new vision for the area.
Enjoy your weekend