LOCAL GOVERNMENT REORGANISATION PLANS – Effect on Services?

Before being re-deployed following another unintended Cabinet reshuffle previous Secretary of State Sajid Javid had agreed to support the Future Dorset proposal for unitary councils in Dorset, subject to parliamentary approval.

A “Shadow Council” will now be formed in early summer 2018 to work alongside the existing councils with a view to the new DORSET COUNCIL becoming effective from 1st April 2019.

More info from the Dorset Area Joint Committee HERE

 

It is has been said that West Dorset District Council (WDDC) has substantial reserves, which have accrued over the years, and yet we are led to understand that the new unified Dorset Council will start with a significant deficit.

What is happening to the current reserves held by WDDC on behalf of local council tax payers?

You may ask, Bradpole Council has asked the following question on our residents’ behalf:

What will happen to those reserves currently held by WDDC which would otherwise have been available to be spent in West Dorset?

This reply was received from WDDC on 31 Jan 2018:

“…All existing Councils would cease on 31st March 2019 and all of their assets and liabilities would be transferred to the new Unitary Council. This would include any reserves held by the Council (WDDC).”

Following the substantial reductions in UK Govt funding for Local Authorities WDDC has stated that it “may in future cease to fund discretionary services”. Bradpole Parish Council understands that if services are needed then they have to be paid for one way or another. It is considered that the description “discretionary services” is inadequate and has asked, more than once, for a full and detailed list of those services to be made available.

But see also this tweet from 21 March:

@DorsetAreaJC

Need to be realistic about what is achievable in setting up the new authority for April 2019 – that’s an unprecedented short timescale. There needs to be seamless continuity of services and it needs to be legal and compliant on Day 1. Transformation work will take longer

APRIL 2018: Bradpole Parish Council has responded to an on-line survey about the future of services, this is what we had to say: WDDC Devolution of Services

Bradpole Parish Council, along with other local parish & town councils, will be monitoring this process with a series of Parish Liaison meetings facilitated by the Bridport Local Area Partnership (BLAP):

https://www.bridport-tc.gov.uk/projects/bridport-local-area-partnership/

BRADPOLE PARISH COUNCIL WORKING FOR THE BRADPOLE CIVIL PARISH COMMUNITY
BPC March 2018