Dorset

Weymouth town council proposed if county merges

Weymouth Image copyright Google
Image caption Weymouth & Portland Borough Council would cease to exist by April 2019 if the merger goes ahead

Weymouth in Dorset could get a new town council if plans to merge the county's nine local authorities go ahead.

Six of Dorset's nine councils want to see the whole county reorganised into two unitary authorities by April 2019.

Weymouth & Portland Borough Council has said the move would leave it as "virtually the only place" not covered by a town or parish council.

A consultation on the creation of the new town council begins on Friday and lasts until 1 September.

A final decision is due to be made in February 2018.

Weymouth & Portland council leader Jeff Cant said: "These are rapidly changing times. I'd like to stress that nothing has been decided yet.

"We are committed to listening to the views of our community as we strive to meet the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead."

If the merger of Dorset's nine councils goes head, it would mean Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole would become a single unitary authority, while Weymouth and Portland, East Dorset, North Dorset, Purbeck and West Dorset would make up the second. The role of Dorset County Council would be absorbed by the two new bodies.

If approved by government, the changes would result in the loss of an estimated 450 existing council jobs and a reduction in the number of councillors in Dorset from 331 to about 180.

The merger plans, however, have been rejected by Christchurch, Purbeck and East Dorset councils.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites