To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 28 February 2017 to Question 64857, on Local Government: Dorset, whether he will ensure that his initial decision will not be taken until all interested parties have had the opportunity to examine the evidence in support of the submission of 9 February 2017 on local government reorganisation by some Dorset local authorities.
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, pursuant to his Answer of 1 March 2017 to Question 65075, what evidence he will have before him on the opinions and counter-proposals of the three councils which do not support the proposal.
We are now considering carefully the unitary proposal on which the nine Dorset councils have been working, and which six of those councils have formally submitted, together with all the representations we have received to date, including the material submitted by East Dorset District Council under cover of a letter of 21 February from the Council Leader and by Christchurch Borough Council under cover of a letter of 22 February from the Council's Acting Leader.
Our intention is to reach and announce an initial decision as to how we are minded to proceed as soon as practicable. Once we have announced our initial decision, there will still be an opportunity for those interested to submit further representations, including any additional material which East Dorset District Council or Christchurch Borough Council wishes to submit, before we take our final decision.