Councils across the country should ‘do more’ and ‘be brave’ when it comes to discussing reorganisation.

That’s the message from Matt Prosser, chief executive of the Dorset Councils Partnership which includes North Dorset, Weymouth and Portland and West Dorset District Councils, on local government reorganisation.

Mr Prosser is leading the process that will see the partnership merge with Dorset County, East Dorset and Purbeck councils into a single authority while Christchurch will merge with Bournemouth and Poole councils to form another council.

Mr Prosser said: “In the absence of central guidance on structure and reorganisation – and the government has been clear it doesn’t want to do that – then it’s down to local leadership and local politics and local chief executives being brave enough to have that conversation.

“If central government isn’t going to give that guidance it becomes a bit messy… Personally, I think we could’ve been doing so much more as a sector if there had been a stronger central push.”

He stressed that more discussions about restructuring are needed in other parts of the country.

However, he recognised the “political dynamic” of a place as well as “political egos” which he stressed had prevented this from happening but admitted it can also be difficult for senior officers to put their own roles at risk.

Following the council merger in next April, all of the current Dorset council chief executives will be invited to apply for the new jobs.

These include Andrew Flockhart, Debbie Ward, Steve Mackenzie, David McIntosh and Jane Portman.

Mr Prosser, added: “I will be applying and I will test my CV against my colleagues and those who apply nationally. I’d like to be a part of the Dorset story going forward.”

However, a High Court judge granted permission for the Christchurch council’s judicial review application against the process to be heard by Friday, July 27.

Commenting on the Christchurch Judicial Review, the chief executive said that the evidence base in favour of reorganisation was “sound” adding that more than 75 per cent of the county’s 330 councillors in Dorset eventually backed the proposals.