Dorset

Two Dorset councils may merge services to save £8.8m

Jobs are likely to go if two Dorset councils merge their services to claw back £8.8m following the government's cuts, a report says.

West Dorset District Council and Weymouth and Portland Council are considering creating a single officer management and staffing structure.

The councils' own report says "staff numbers will reduce over a period of time" among their combined 850 workers.

Both authorities will discuss the proposal at four meetings in July.

Councillor Geoff Petherick, Weymouth's corporate affairs and continuous improvement brief holder, said: "Although we will still face some difficult choices, by sharing our officer structures across two councils, we can make significant savings that can be used to help protect vital services and make improvements where needed."

Councillor Robert Gould, leader of West Dorset District Council, added: "The savings arising from partnership working will help West Dorset maintain most services at their current levels despite the impact of major cuts to the grant we receive from Government, identified by the Chancellor in his budget last Tuesday."

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