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Three-way management and services share planned

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Three Dorset councils are to apply for almost £1.5m from the government’s Transformation Challenge fund to set up the first three-way share of managers and services.

North Dorset and West Dorset DCs and Weymouth & Portland BC said in April they wanted to implement the sharing arrangement by next March.

Matt Prosser (pictured) is already shared chief executive of the latter two councils. He would also be expected to also take on North Dorset, whose chief Liz Goodall is due to retire by March 2015.

The councils said in a joint statement that sharing could see some £6m saved by 2019-20, mainly from more efficient use of accommodation.

Two bids will be made – one to the fund’s 2014-15 round for a shared chief and management team, and another to the 2015-16 round to extend West Dorset and Weymouth & Portland’s shared services to include North Dorset.

A spokesman for Weymouth & Portland BC said: “I suppose in theory the government could approve one bid and not the other, but they are designed to work together so that we have integrated services and an integrated workforce from top to bottom.”

Councils in the other half of Dorset attempted a similar three-way share last autumn. This collapsed when Purbeck DC decided against joining the existing partnership of Christchurch BC and East Dorset DC.


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