News

05.11.18

New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

The new chief executive of one of the new unitary authorities in Dorset has outlined his approach to culture and work with employees, arguing that this will be the “right decision” for the county.

Speaking to PSE, Matt Prosser, who will lead Dorset Council – a new unitary which will come into existence in April next year – said taking employees through the transition progress has been a “bit of a rollercoaster” that requires considering everyone’s opinion.

“One of the areas of main focus is ensuring that we’re caring for our employees through the transition—it’s a bit of a rollercoaster, I’ve been talking to employees this week about that,” Prosser said. “Some people like a rollercoaster, some people like bits of a rollercoaster, some people wouldn’t knock on the door of a queue for the rollercoaster.”

Prosser was chosen to become the Dorset Council CEO— the unitary which will replace five district and borough councils East Dorset, North Dorset, Purbeck, West Dorset, Weymouth & Portland) and Dorset Council— in September after previously serving as chief executive of Dorset Councils Partnership (North Dorset, West Dorset, and Weymouth & Portland Councils) since 2014.

“My background is bringing councils together so there’s nothing yet that’s come out and I've gone ‘oh blimey, I didn’t see that coming,’ but there is a scale up in this organisation. You’re talking about 6,000 employees plus the education staff on top of that, making 11,000 employees- you’ve got multiple cultures across those six organisations currently.”

Whilst Prosser will head up the new Dorset Council, the county’s neighbouring new unitary authority, Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole (BCP) Council’s creation was more tumultuous: Christchurch Borough Council’s (CBC) staunch opposition to the plans meant that the authority’s creation went all the way to the High Court, and ended in CBC losing the court battle and merging with the two surrounding local councils.

In managing to keep the harmony in the geographically larger area, he said: “Inevitably there will be people who are desperately open to something new and there will be some people who are resistant to it. That resistance, we need to understand and how we can help unlock that. Some of the challenges for me have been that kind of political dynamic.

“I think the real challenge for me is getting the organisation ahead of the curve—which sounds trite, but what we’ve got to do is bring all the teams together to deliver the same services and make it more efficient—and we’ve got transformation, whilst also delivering business as usual keeping people safe, emptying the bins. It’s a huge task.

“This is going to be the right decision for Dorset. There might be some few issues along the way, but actually the big picture here is this is the right thing to do for the people of Dorset to provide a modern council for the future.”

Prosser wrote for PSE’s Aug/Sept edition, discussing the future of colocation between the two unitary authorities.

Enjoying PSE? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest news

View all News

comment

Camberley inspired: investment and regeneration

11/03/2019Camberley inspired: investment and regeneration

The decline of the Great British high street has been one of the greatest c... more >
Swindon's solar-powered recycling centre saves council cash

11/03/2019Swindon's solar-powered recycling centre saves council cash

Steve Cains, head of power solutions at Public Power Solutions, the wholly-... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the open more > more last word articles >

interviews

Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

17/12/2018Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

One of the public sector’s key technology partners has recently welco... more >

the raven's daily blog

Councils Can: LGA launches Spending Review campaign

18/03/2019Councils Can: LGA launches Spending Review campaign

Lord Porter, chairman of the Local Government Association, outlines his organisation’s campaign to make sure local government tops to government’s list for this ye... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

public sector events

events calendar

back

March 2019

forward
mon tue wed thu fri sat sun
25 26 27 28 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

featured articles

View all News