CASH-STRAPPED Bournemouth and Poole councils have outlined plans to divide up services in an attempt to save nearly £1million.

Borough of Poole’s cabinet are meeting on Tuesday to discuss plans to create a joint library service for the two authorities as well as a joint management team for tourism and seafront operations.

It comes as Dorset councils are in the midst of a local government review which could see Bournemouth merge with Poole.

According to a report which has been presented to cabinet members the new joint library service is estimated to save both councils £566,000 by 2019/20.

Borough of Poole would be the lead authority for the service which, if approved, would start in April this year.

Staff will transfer to Poole as the lead council - but the ownership of assets, books and library buildings will remain unchanged.

Cllr Mohan Iyengar, cabinet member for economy, culture and leisure at Borough of Poole, said: “Our councils are working together across a range of services to protect and modernise them while keeping within tighter budgets. The joint library service is one example.

"It’s not about closures or reduced hours, but about pooling our resources and know-how to expand the service, as well as making efficiencies where it makes sense."

Poole’s cabinet is also being asked to approve the creation of a joint management team for tourism and seafront operations.

It is recommended that a single joint management team be created with Bournemouth Borough Council acting as the lead authority.

The new team will be responsible for delivering seafront operations, marketing and events, destination development and strategy for both Bournemouth and Poole.

It follows a year-long review of the service to see how savings could be made and this recommendation is estimated to save the councils £247,000 by 2019/20.

Cllr Lawrence Williams, cabinet member for tourism, leisure and the arts at Bournemouth Council, said: “Providing services jointly creates an opportunity to deliver significant budget savings and make services more sustainable in the long-term.

"Tourism within Bournemouth and Poole is worth £940million to the local economy, providing jobs for 16,400 people.

"A joint seafront and tourism service would build on the strong reputation of both destinations in the increasingly competitive tourism market.”

John Green, chairman of Bournemouth Tourism Management Board, said: “Bournemouth and Poole attract over 11 million visitors a year and so it makes perfect sense to combine the management and development of tourism and the seafront, for the benefit of the whole area.” 

This is not the first time the two authorities have worked together to provide services. There is already a joint executive director for corporate services and joint chief financial officer for Bournemouth and Poole councils.