Communities secretary Sajid Javid has said he will make a decision on the Dorset reorganisation bid this month.
The day after a joint committee of four Dorset councils met for the first time to discuss steps to implement the Future Dorset proposal, Mr Javid is reported to have told delegates at the National Association of Local Councils conference that he would soon reveal whether a proposal to abolish the existing councils and create two unitaries had been approved.
The Future Dorset proposal would see Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch become a single unitary, with the second covering the rest of the county.
The Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole joint committee, which is responsible for creating the new council, met for the first time on Monday. Poole leader Janet Walton (Con) was elected chair and said members were “assuming a positive decision from the secretary of state relating to the Future Dorset proposal”.
She added: “I am delighted that all four councils representing residents within the proposed new authority area are members of the joint committee, working together to promote collaborative working between councils. The amount and importance of that work cannot be underestimated.”
The joint committee includes eight members from Bournemouth, six from Poole and two from Christchurch.
As well as responsibility for creating the new council, the joint committee will appoint key senior staff and set the budget in readiness for the creation of the new unitaries in April 2019.