Local Government Reorganisation: The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, has agreed to the creation of two new unitary councils for Dorset. The two new authorities will replace Dorset’s nine existing councils. One will cover Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, and the other will serve the residents of the rest of the county. Each will deliver all local government services in their respective areas. The two new councils are due to go live in April 2019, and, from that date, North Dorset District Council, West Dorset District Council and Weymouth and Portland Borough Council will cease to exist.
Environment: A ban on sky lanterns and helium balloons has been introduced by local councils. The move follows concerns that lanterns and balloons can harm animals and cause damage to property. After listening to concerns, councillors at North Dorset District Council voted to ban the release of balloons and lanterns from council property. The rules will apply to all council-owned land and leased premises. The ban will be reviewed in two years.
Access: North Dorset District Council moved to the Nordon Lodge on Thursday 15 February. The building is only a few metres away from the old office, and still on the Nordon site. The Lodge has been re-designed internally to make it more customer friendly and accessible. Customers will be able to access services via touchscreen self-service computers and phones in our reception area, as well as through appointments and surgeries with duty officers. The sale of the rest of the Nordon site is conditional upon the site gaining approval of its outline planning application. Upon approval, the developer will then be required to submit a further, more detailed application for approval.