Finance

Dorset Council Debate over Future Finances with Up To £900,000 at Stake

 

The two new unitary councils in Dorset are debating with the assistance of arbitrators to find common ground, over where various income and liabilities should be transferred to when the councils begin operations in April 2019.

The Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole authority claims a global figure of 6.8 percent, while the new Dorset Council believes that the number should be around 11 percent. The winner of the argument could mean the difference between generating £600,000 to £900.000 to either authority.

Jason Vaughan, the interim finance chief, mentioned to councillors that the official dispute was “gentlemanly” between the two shadow councils.

Mr. Vaughan says that the new budget may be voted on in February, which would involve the complicated process of collecting six councils into one being, along with four corporate finance teams, in four buildings, and each of them with different accounting systems.

Over time, he comments that a national accounting firm estimates that there could be savings of around £22 to £33 million a year, although there was an additional £18 to £27 million one-off investment that allowed for the initial changes.

A major factor influencing the new council’s mid-term budget is the Dorset County Council debt of £300 million it will inherit.

 

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