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Dorset County Council

Our Corporate Plan sets out what we as the county council is doing to meet the continuing challenges of the economic climate while ensuring that our Dorset residents receive the services they need the most. 

The council

The council is made up of 46 councillors and the major decisions of the county council are made by them.

Councillors are elected by the local community and are responsible for making decisions on behalf of the local community about local services and budgets, such as council tax. Each councillor represents a specific area and serves for a period of four years. The work of a councillor includes holding surgeries to help local people, supporting local organisations, campaigning on local issues, and developing links with all parts of the community.

Councillors are not paid a salary or wages, but they are entitled to allowances and expenses to cover some of the costs of carrying out their public duties. All councillors abide by a code of conduct, part of which requires them to declare any financial interests, gifts or hospitality that could influence any decisions they make.

The Leader

Cllr Rebecca Knox was elected as the leader of the council by the County Council on Thursday 18 May 2017.

The Cabinet

The Cabinet is an executive group responsible for the overall business of the council. The following councillors were appointed by the Leader of the Council to serve on the Cabinet:

  • Jill Haynes - Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Health and Care
  • Steve Butler - Cabinet Member for Safeguarding
  • Deborah Croney - Cabinet Member for Economy, Education, Learning and Skills
  • Toni Ferrari - Cabinet Member for Community and Resources
  • Daryl Turner - Cabinet Member for Natural and Built Environment
  • Peter Wharf - Cabinet Member for Workforce

The Chief Executive

The Chief Executive is Mike Harries who was appointed in December 2018. The Chief Executive is the senior officer who leads and takes responsibility for the work of the paid staff of the council.

The Senior Management Team

The Senior Management Team is responsible for managing the activities of the council staff and for advising councillors on the potential implications of political decisions.

By law, senior council staff are not allowed to participate in any party political activity and are expected to advise and assist all councillors irrespective of their political affiliation.

How we are organised 

In order to meet its objectives and deliver services efficiently and effectively Dorset County Council is organised into four directorates.

Each is run by a Director, and they in turn are responsible to the Chief Executive.

Chief Executives 

Chief Executives carries out policy and performance roles across the county council. It includes Financial Services, Legal & Democratic Services, Communications and Human Resources.

Children's Services

Children's Services (led by director Nick Jarman), includes early years, schools, child care, child protection, fostering and adoption, children with disabilities and special needs, student support, youth offending and youth and community.

Environment and Economy

Environment and Economy (led by director Mike Harries), includes Building Management, Planning, ICT and Customer Care, Transportation, Dorset Highways, Valuation and Estates, and Economic Development.

Adult and Community Services

Adult and Community Services (led by director Nick Jarman), includes all care services for adults, community safety, health partnerships, Trading Standards, Registration Service, Library Service and adult education.

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