|East Dorset District|
East Dorset shown within Dorset
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Region||South West England|
|Admin HQ||Furzehill, Wimborne|
|Incorporated||1 April 1974|
|• Type||Non-metropolitan district council|
|• Body||East Dorset District Council|
|• Leadership||Alternative - Sec.31 (Conservative)|
|• MPs||Christopher Chope
|• Total||136.8 sq mi (354.4 km2)|
|Area rank||119th (of 326)|
|Population (2011 est.)|
|• Rank||268th (of 326)|
|• Density||640/sq mi (250/km2)|
|• Ethnicity||99.0% White|
|Time zone||GMT (UTC0)|
|• Summer (DST)||BST (UTC+1)|
|ONS code||19UD (ONS)
|OS grid reference||SU0130301959|
The district was formed on 1 April 1974 by the merger of Wimborne Minster Urban District with part of the Ringwood and Fordingbridge Rural District and the Wimborne and Cranborne Rural District. The district was originally known as Wimborne, and adopted its present name in 1988.
The popularity of the area, being close to the New Forest, Bournemouth and the Dorset coast, has seen a rapid expansion in housing from the 1970s with the Verwood, Ferndown, West Moors and Corfe Mullen populations more than quadrupling. There still remains a rural feel, however, especially in the north and west of the area. Wimborne Minster has retained its identity as a historic market town.
East Dorset also contains a large amount of the remaining lowland heath, managed by East Dorset Countryside Management Services in partnership with the Forestry Commission. The expansion of housing has led to a massive decrease in the area of this unusual and unique habitat, which once covered 500 km² but now covers only 15% of that.
Statistics released by the Office for National Statistics show that life expectancy at birth for males in East Dorset was 80.1 years in 2001-2003, the highest in the United Kingdom. Female life expectancy at birth for the same period was 83.4 years, ranking seventh in the UK. The figures for East Dorset during 1991-1993 were 77.9 years for males and 82.5 for females.
East Dorset District Council is elected every four years, with currently 36 councillors being elected at each election. Since 1976 the Conservative party has held a majority on the council apart from a period between the 1995 and 1999 elections when the Liberal Democrats had control. As of the 2011 election the council is composed of the following councillors:-
- Settlements with a population over 2,500 are in bold.
- Chalbury, Colehill, Corfe Mullen, Cranborne
- Hinton Martell, Hinton Parva, Holt, Horton
- Long Crichel
- Moor Crichel
- Pamphill, Pentridge
- St Ives, St Leonards, Shapwick, Sixpenny Handley, Sturminster Marshall
- West Moors, West Parley, Wimborne Minster, Wimborne St Giles, Witchampton, Woodlands
- Life expectancy at birth in the United Kingdom, Office for National Statistics
- "England council elections". BBC News Online. 10 May 2011. Retrieved 13 June 2014.