Dorset County Council
|Dorset County Council|
Coat of arms
Chairman of the County Council
Cllr Hilary Cox,
Since 18 May 2017
Leader of the Council
Cllr Rebecca Knox,
Since 18 May 2017
Length of term
|4 May 2017|
|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. The council is to be abolished on 31 March 2019 as part of structural changes to local government in Dorset. 
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.
Responsibilities for services
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)|
|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|
|5||East Dorset||District council||85,900||35,437|
2019 Structural changes
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.  The two new authorities will come into being on 1 April 2019.
- "County Hall". Dorset County Council.[permanent dead link]
- Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (25 May 2018). "The Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole (Structural Changes) Order 2018". Legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 2018-05-28.
- "Your Councillors". 2016-03-22. Retrieved 2016-03-22.
- "Standard Area Measurements (extent of the realm)" (ZIP). Office for National Statistics. 31 December 2007. Retrieved 9 December 2009.