MEMBERS of West Dorset District Council’s executive committee have given further backing to plans to explore a three-way council partnership.

Informal talks have already begun surrounding a proposal for North Dorset District Council to join the existing partnership between Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and West Dorset District Council.

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council’s management committee has previously backed a proposal to proceed to formal talks and the recommendation has now been supported by West Dorset District Council’s executive committee.

Councillors were told that a partnership between the three authorities would cover a population of around 230,000 and government funding was available to help the partnership take shape.

Council leader Robert Gould said: “This authority has always been a very forward looking authority.

“Our ground breaking partnership with Weymouth and Portland has obviously been hugely successful.

“This is the direction of travel and I think it is absolutely right that we take advantage of this opportunity.”

Cllr Terry Farmer added: “Standing still is not an option in today’s climate and councils that persist in that culture will fall by the wayside.

“I’m very pleased this is now happening with North Dorset.”