Christchurch and East Dorset Councils have been contacted by Local Government Minister, Kris Hopkins, who has agreed to provide the Transformation Challenge Award which they bid for.
The government released details of the award winners in December but the bid by Christchurch and East Dorset was deemed unsuccessful. The bid was to progress the successful service-sharing which the councils have been working on for the past four years.
The Leaders of the councils wrote to the Minister asking if he would reconsider and local MP Chris Chope also raised a question in the House of Commons.
The Minister has now written to the Leaders to say “…in the case of your bid, the assessment should have placed more emphasis on your need for the Transformation Challenge Award funding to progress your already successful sharing arrangements. I have decided, therefore, that in this case your authorities should be awarded £867,500 from the Transformation Challenge Award fund.”
Cllr Ray Nottage, Leader of Christchurch Borough Council, said: “This is tremendous news and proves that the government is prepared to listen and reconsider their decisions if they are provided with a strong enough case. Our thanks also go to Chris Chope MP for the part he has played in influencing the decision.”
Cllr Ian Monks, Leader of East Dorset District Council, added: “This Award means that we can continue to work for our residents in both areas to provide the services they expect and deserve whilst making further savings. Without the Award we would have had to make some compromises, but now we can progress our plans as originally intended.”