Dorset

Dorset council merger saves taxpayers £1m in four years

Council leaders have said £1m of taxpayers' money has been saved as a result of a council merger in Dorset.

West Dorset District Council and Weymouth and Portland Borough Council merged their revenues and benefits teams four years ago.

These cover council tax and business rates, housing and council tax benefit and benefit fraud.

The councils hope to combine all of their services in the future to assist with government funding cuts.

They are planning a single officer structure for both councils, including one chief executive and management team instead of the current two.

'Improving performance'

The joint workforce, they say, would deliver services to 162,000 residents, more than 6,100 businesses and to the millions of visitors to the areas.

Councillor Howard Legg, of Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, said: "Smarter working and more efficient systems have allowed us to smooth out any peaks and troughs in the workload, meaning people in West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland get a better, faster service."

West Dorset district councillor Anthony Alford said: "It is essential that public services work hard to save money in the current financial climate. The revenues and benefits partnership shows that it is possible to do things at a lower cost while improving performance."

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