Voters are being invited to have their say in drawing up ward boundaries for the new Dorset Council.
In May, the government confirmed that local government in Dorset should change with the county and all other councils being replaced by two new councils. This includes a new Dorset Council.
The Local Government Boundary Commission for England consultation proposes ward boundaries to be used to elect councillors in the new authority. The Commission is asking for local views on the proposals before it finalises them in October.
The consultation runs until 27 August 2018 and is open to anyone who is interested how Dorset will be represented.
The commission proposes that the council should have 82 councillors in total. The plans propose 31-councillor wards, 14 two-councillor wards and eight three-councillor wards. The boundaries will come into effect at the first election for the authority in May 2019.
Professor Colin Mellors, chair of the commission, said: “This is a chance for local people to have their say on how they will be represented by the new Dorset Council.
“We want to build wards that make sense to local people and mean something to them. That is why we want to hear as much local evidence as possible before we finalise the plans in October.”
The full recommendations and detailed interactive maps are available on the Commission’s website at consultation.lgbce.org.uk and www.lgbce.org.uk. Hard copies of the Commission’s report and maps will also be available to view at council buildings.
The Commission wants to hear as much evidence as possible to develop final recommendations. Anyone wishing to make a submission to the commission should email firstname.lastname@example.org by 27 August 2018.
First meeting of Shadow Dorset Council
Following the inaugural meeting of the Shadow Dorset Council, the first meeting of the Shadow Executive Committee took place on 18 June at South Walks House, Dorchester. Cllr Rebecca Knox was elected and announced as chairwoman along with the vice-chairman, Cllr Gary Suttle. Cllr Knox will automatically assume the position of Leader of the Shadow Dorset Council.
She said: “I am delighted to be elected as Leader of the Shadow Dorset Council. We have listened to our residents and are doing what they’ve asked us to do in creating a new Dorset council. That’s our task and that’s what we will do for April 1, 2019.
“We come from six different council areas, but we become one here. We will have no boundaries and we are committed to working together with a collective responsibility to do the best for our residents. I look forward to working with everyone to deliver our new council. This is a very exciting time for us all.”