An ambitious three year programme to review district and borough council services across West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland will be put before councillors next week.

West Dorset District Council and Weymouth & Portland Borough Council have already saved around £3million a year through their ground-breaking shared services partnership. It sees one workforce delivering services for both authorities.

But financial forecasts show the two councils will need to find considerable further savings or additional income by the end of 2016/17.

West Dorset District Council Leader Robert Gould said: “Every council in the country is facing huge cuts in funding. Our two authorities are taking a proactive approach and tackling this in a managed way.

“The proposed service reviews will help ensure the councils are able to provide affordable services which best meet the future needs of local residents and businesses. They are crucial in developing organisations which are fit for 2020 and beyond.”

Weymouth & Portland Borough Council Corporate Affairs and Continuous Improvement Briefholder Mike Goodman said: “Our two councils are dealing with this head on by conducting in-depth reviews of all services - both statutory (those we have to provide by law) and discretionary (those we choose to provide).

“The reviews will mean some big changes and will take account of the views of service users and our key partners. There will be difficult decisions – some services will stop, others will have to be delivered in significantly different ways.”

The councils’ Shared Services Joint Advisory Committee will be asked to endorse the service review programme on 27 January 2014. However, the final programme will be agreed by the individual councils in February.

The first reviews would begin in April 2014 with decisions on any changes to services made by each council in the usual way. The programme and the type of reviews proposed at this stage can be seen at