LOCAL GOVERNMENT REVIEW –
SHAPING DORSET UPDATE
statements at Shadow Authority meetings
Chairman John Parker and I have been attending and speaking at the shadow
authority meetings for both Dorset Council plus Bournemouth, Christchurch and
Poole Council. Our members have been informed of our attendance through all our
communication channels with updates of the actions of those shadow authorities.
Chairman made a statement to the first meeting of the new Shadow Dorset Council
on 7 June. We attended as members of the public. John made his statement in the
public participation part of the meeting, reminding the Shadow Council that the
parish and town council tier will remain after 1 April 2019 and that DAPTC was
keen to build relationships with both shadow authorities on behalf of its
Devolution was also raised by John. He said:
to town and parish councils will be a fundamental issue for shaping future
services. Achieving this in an adequately resourced and cooperative manner is
in the interests of all our communities.
association believes it is in a unique position to be a positive voice in
ensuring that our members are engaged with the new councils, not only in
collaborative design of services for the many different communities in Dorset,
but also in all aspects which would help build relationships and ease the
implementation of change.”
Chairman made a statement to the first meeting of the Executive Committee of
the Shadow Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Authority on 15 June. We
attended as members of the public. John made his statement in the public
participation part of the meeting, stressing that the introduction of a brand
new unitary council will make it more important than ever to keep links with
the many individual communities that it will serve. As the parish and town
council tier of local government will remain, that tier will have an essential
role to play in representing their residents.
said: “Our association believes it is in a unique position to be a positive
voice in ensuring that our members are engaged with the new councils, not only
in collaborative design of services for the many different communities in
Dorset, but also in all aspects which would help build relationships, ease the
implementation of change and increase the potential for local control over
Shadow Dorset Executive Committee has decided principles for transfer of assets
to local councils. Details are in draft minute 18 at http://shadowcouncil.dorset.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=136&MId=134&Ver=4
Shadow Dorset Overview and Scrutiny Committee met on 31 July and as part of its
work, discussed the principles. At the request of the Committee Chairman, the
DAPTC Chairman John Parker was invited to speak to the Committee. As he was
unable to attend due to a delayed flight, I gave a statement on his behalf
which included the following points:
Adrian Hibberd, a member of DAPTC Executive Committee and Chairman of DAPTC
Eastern Area Committee spoke of the need for improved communication about plans
for the new unitary council.
Town Clerk Martin Ayres reminded the Committee of the recommendations of the
Working Together Project. (The project had been led by officers from Dorset
County Council, DAPTC and several Clerks, including Martin. The recommendations
had received broad support from DAPTC members in December 2015 when
DAPTC consulted all town and parish councils on the report’s recommendations
for closer working arrangements with principal authorities).
continue to attend meetings of both Shadow Authorities in order to raise the
profile of our members and to establish relationships.
the Shadow Dorset Executive meeting on 17 September, the future of voluntary
and community sector grants was considered. Arrangements to roll over grants
into 2019/20 and undertake detailed reviews of the grants in 2020/21 were decided
and can be read at Minute 52 at
the same meeting, no support was given by the committee to proposals in
relation to the transfer of services and assets considered by West Dorset
District Council to town councils in its area. More detail can be read in draft
Minute 52 at the above web link.
members have been informed of our attendance at shadow authority meetings through
all our communication channels with updates of the actions of those shadow
Liaison with to the LGR
continue to keep in contact with the LGR officer teams. The Dorset LGR
Programme Director attended the Clerks Seminar on 18 September. An officer from
the BCP area also attended. The focus of the seminar was practical preparations
for April/May 2019. Elections teams from both unitary areas attended to brief
Clerks on arrangements for the elections, giving them as much information in
advance as possible.
and parish councils plus DAPTC are listed as stakeholders for immediate
engagement in the Shaping Dorset Communications Plan. I am following that up
with the Dorset LGR Communications Manager. The Shaping Dorset LGR
Communications Team keep me in touch with the preparation of the newsletter
circulated to town and parish councils.
Review – Christchurch
the request of Highcliffe Residents Association, the Chairman and I attended a
meeting on 2 July in Highcliffe in Christchurch about establishing parish
councils. I gave a presentation on parish councils – functions and setting up.
(My presentation was based on information from NALC and has been requested for
use by another county association). The Chairman answered questions and gave
his own experience as a parish councillor. This event coincided with the public
consultation for the Community Governance Review.
Christchurch Borough Council has decided to
accept the recommendations of its Community Committee that the following new
local councils be created:
It also decided that Burton Parish Council and Hurn Parish Council remain with boundary amendments.
The feedback from the public consultation contained several positive remarks from Highcliffe residents about parish councils and referred to a public meeting on the matter. It is also interesting to note that points that DAPTC has expressed on the importance of parish councils are raised in the minutes of the CBC Community Committee.
I have established contact with the officer leading on the setting up of these new local councils.