Dorset County Council

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Dorset County Council
Coat of arms or logo
Coat of arms
Council logo
Chairman of the County Council
Cllr Hilary Cox,
since 18 May 2017
Leader of the Council
Cllr Rebecca Knox,
since 18 May 2017
Seats46 councillors
Dorset County Council composition
Political groups
     Conservative (33)
Other parties
     Liberal Democrat (10)
     Green (2)
     Labour (1)
Length of term
4 years
Last election
4 May 2017
Meeting place
County Hall at Dorchester
County Hall, Dorchester

Dorset County Council (DCC) is the county council for the county of Dorset in England. It provides the upper tier of local government, below which are district councils, and town and parish councils. The county council has 46 elected councillors and is based at County Hall in Dorchester.[1] The council is to be abolished on 31 March 2019 as part of structural changes to local government in Dorset. [2]


When councillors are elected they represent one of England's major political parties or are "independent". The Conservative Party currently have the highest number of councillors in the chamber. As such, the leader of the cabinet (effective head of the chamber) also represents the Conservative Party and can choose the cabinet members from the Conservative Party as well. The Liberal Democrats have the second highest number of councillors and the final councillor is an independent.

Following the 2017 Local Elections, the Conservatives hold 32 seats, Liberal Democrats 11, the Green Party 2 and Labour 1.[3]

Responsibilities for services[edit]

Map of Dorset's six shire districts and two unitary authorities. 1-6 are administered by Dorset County Council, but 7 and 8 are the unitary authority areas of Bournemouth and Poole, which are self-governed on local issues; they are considered part of the ceremonial county of Dorset

Dorset County Council's responsibilities include schools, social care for the elderly and vulnerable, road maintenance, libraries and trading standards.

The county council's area is also administered by six smaller authorities that have their own district or borough councils. The responsibilities of these councils include local planning, council housing, refuse collection, sports and leisure facilities, and street cleaning. The district areas are further divided into civil parishes, which have "parish councils" or "town councils"; the latter of which often use a town hall. Typical activities undertaken by a parish council include maintaining allotments, footpaths, playing fields and the local community or village hall. On some matters, the county council share responsibilities with the district and parish councils. These include economic development and regeneration, emergency planning, tourism promotion and coastal protection.

No. District Type of council Population (mid-2008 est.) Extent of area (hectares)[4]
1 Weymouth and Portland Borough council 65,000 4,175
2 West Dorset District council 97,200 108,148
3 North Dorset District council 67,900 60,992
4 Purbeck District council 46,000 40,440
5 East Dorset District council 85,900 35,437
6 Christchurch Borough council 45,800 5,040

2019 Structural changes[edit]

Statutory Instruments for local government reorganisation in the ceremonial county of Dorset were made in May 2018. Under the plans, dubbed "Future Dorset", all existing councils within the county will be abolished and replaced by two new unitary authorities. One will be formed from the existing unitary authorities of Bournemouth and Poole which will merge with the non-metropolitan district of Christchurch to create a unitary authority to be known as Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council. The other will be created from the merger of the existing non-metropolitan districts of Weymouth and Portland, West Dorset, North Dorset, Purbeck and East Dorset and will be known as Dorset Council. [5] The two new authorities will come into being on 1 April 2019.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "County Hall". Dorset County Council.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (25 May 2018). "The Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole (Structural Changes) Order 2018". Retrieved 2018-05-28.
  3. ^ "Your Councillors". 2016-03-22. Retrieved 2016-03-22.
  4. ^ "Standard Area Measurements (extent of the realm)" (ZIP). Office for National Statistics. 31 December 2007. Retrieved 9 December 2009.
  5. ^

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°42′58″N 2°26′26″W / 50.71611°N 2.44056°W / 50.71611; -2.44056 (County Hall)