Following the news in November that it cost £50,000 in consultant fees to engage a chief executive of the new unitary Dorset Council, a man who was already known to them, came news of a further half a million redundancy pay-off to the existing Chief Executive.

Now comes the announcement that five senior posts at the new Dorset Council have been appointed – at a combined annual salary of £655,000.

This all represents a huge expenditure of ratepayers' money at a time when budgets for children's services,social care, roads and schools are all being constantly cut by the Conservative Dorset County Council.

It also sheds an interesting light on Simon Hoare, MP's recent words in Parliament: '...with the home-grown proposals for the unitary councils of Dorset, we have been at the cutting edge of modernisation and delivering value for money and quality services.'

The new unitary council has much to do prove him right, especially at a time when the 'harmonisation' of council tax in Dorset will see the ratepayers of North Dorset pay as much council tax as those of West Dorset and Weymouth and Portland from next year.

There seems a real risk that they will in fact be paying even more money, for constantly cut and reduced services – and a bloated and expensive bureaucracy.


Parliamentary Spokesperson,

North Dorset Liberal Democrats