The work programme of the Joint Committee is to deliver three key outcomes:

  1. Creating the new council: the legal creation of the council, setting the budget and agreeing the democratic arrangements
  2. Structure: agreeing the senior staffing structures, the process for appointing the Chief Executive and other senior staff, and organising functions within the new council
  3. Organisational design: setting the vision for the new council, its objectives, strategy and ways of working

The terms of reference for the committee were debated and agreed at the meeting on 30 October: 


  1. To identify and promote collaborative and joint working between councils
  2. To take steps to prepare for the transfer of the functions, property, rights and liabilities of Bournemouth Borough Council, Christchurch Borough Council and the Borough of Poole councils and the relevant functions, property, rights and liabilities of Dorset County Council to a new council including the preparation of an implementation plan
  3. To act as the forum within which existing councils consult and co-operate with each other in order to secure the economic, effective, efficient and timely transfer of functions, property, rights and liabilities
  4. To identify and establish early design principles that assist and shape the development of the new council and relevant staffing models
  5. To ensure that councillors are kept fully briefed and engaged in establishing a new  council
  6. To oversee the development and delivery of a comprehensive communications and engagement strategy that address the requirements of councillors, staff, local partners and wider stakeholders
  7. To agree and monitor relevant finance associated to issues of transition and  transformation
  8. To monitor risks associated to the establishment of a new council
  9. To monitor the development of early enabling strategies including, but not limited to, organisational design process and principles, ICT, digital transformation, medium term finance, organisational development and assets
  10. To identify and approve a policy framework and thereafter monitor the introduction of draft policy statements (including supporting procedures) relevant to the required statutory compliance of the new council
  11. To liaise with relevant internal and external auditors and ensure their focus supports the development of the new council
  12. To agree a process for the appointment of a Chief Executive and make a recommendation on the appointment of a new Chief Executive to the new council
  13. To agree a model and process for disaggregation
  14. To agree a model and process for council tax harmonisation
  15. To request a boundary review
  16. To agree an electoral scheme
  17. To respond to consultation on the content of Orders, for example the new authority  name
  18. To take a decision on any required consents
  19. To promote joint work with town and parish councils and local communities to identify and plan for the most effective governance and delivery arrangements for local public services.
  20. To carry out any other tasks where Member engagement is necessary


  • 8 Members from Bournemouth Borough Council
  • 6 Members from Borough of Poole
  • 2 Members from Christchurch Borough Council
  • 2 Dorset County Council Councillors (to address the question of disaggregation only)

Each member will nominate a named substitute who will have the same rights as the member whose place they are substituting. The named substitute should not affect political proportionality.


  • The Joint Committee shall be quorate if 50% +1 of the full members are present.
  • The Chairman does not have a casting vote