DORSET will be in a better financial position going into the future under the new Dorset Council.

The claim comes from finance brief holder for the shadow council Cllr Tony Ferrari and its chief financial officer, Jason Vaughan.

They say the savings made by combining council services will be invested in front line services, and the new council will be able to invest a £70million in capital projects and put more money into children’s and adult services.

There will also be more investment for recycling and further income to come from the sale of buildings.

But the downside is likely to be the loss of more than two hundred council jobs in rural Dorset, saving an estimated £9million.

Cllr Ferrari told the shadow overview and scrutiny committee in Dorchester on Monday that a lot of work had been put in to create a stable financial position to enable the changes to happen.

Treasurer Jason Vaughan said the new council would invest an extra £5.8million in children’s services, pay £900,000 to modernise the fostering service, add an extra £1.5 for adult services and invest an additional £1.37million in the Dorset Waste Partnership.

He said other achievements would include common fees across the area for building control, food safety, search fees and other services – there would be a £500,000 savings from having fewer councillors and a £189,300 saving on having to pay for just one annual audit rather than six.

Mr Vaughan said there would be £5.7 million savings in the first year and up to £10 over the longer term, much of that in reducing duplicate jobs. There would also be savings from a new formula for retaining business rates and in treasury management with an estimated £25.8million in capital from the future sale of assets, although existing DCC commitments would account for £6.5million of that.

Cllr Ferrrari said that income from council tax would bring in around £241million towards an annual budget of £290m, making the council less reliant on the Government and other sources of income.

“Our income from council tax is a large chunk of what we need giving us more control and putting us less at the whim of the Government,” he said.

“I am quite comfortable in saying that everyone will get the same services with the same council tax,” he said, although for North Dorset that will mean an increase of over 6 per cent in the amount they pay while in Weymouth residents are likely to pay less than at present, despite the creation of a new town council. The final figures have yet to be agreed.

Cllr Ray Bryan said that the decision to harmonise council tax in year one, so that everyone paid the same, would also produce a saving – of £6million, but changing the councils from six to one also had a cost, of around £13.5million.