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New leader appointed for Dorset County Council

Cllr Robert Gould has been appointed leader of Dorset County Council Credit: Dorset County Council

Dorset County Council has appointed a new leader - as its former boss is set to stand trial.

Councillor Spencer Flower has stepped down after being accused of failing to declare interests in two property companies.

The council made the decision to appoint Councillor Robert Gould at a meeting this morning.

Cllr Spencer Flower stood down as council leader as he is to face trial for not declaring interests Credit: Dorset County Council

Dorset County Council to choose a new leader

Cllr Spencer Flower has stood down as council leader Credit: Dorset County Council

Dorset County Council is meeting this morning to discuss its next leader.

The former council leader, Spencer Flower stood down ahead of a trial in which he is accused of failing to declare interests in two property companies. He faces three charges relating to his work as a councillor.

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Former leader of Dorset Council appears in court

Spencer Flower faces three charges relating to his work as a councillor Credit: Dorset County Council

The former leader of Dorset County Council is to stand trial accused of failing to declare interests in two property companies.

Spencer Flower faces three charges relating to his work as a councillor.

The 72 year old didn't attend the hearing at Bournemouth Magistrates' Court this morning but not guilty pleas were entered on his behalf.

Former council leader due in court

Cllr Spencer Flower Credit: Dorset County Council

The former leader of Dorset County Council is due before magistrates later.

Cllr Spencer Flower has been charged with failing to declare an interest in a property company.

He's facing three charges relating to his work as a councillor at both the County Council and East Dorset District Council.

Council cuts protest (with some Valentines romance)

The union protestors asking councillors to sign their card Credit: ITV News/Duncan Sleighthome

Unions in Dorset are asking councillors to sign a Valentine's card today, in protest at ongoing cuts to budgets and services. The County Council warns than it will need to find at least £46m worth of savings in the next three years. This follows around £43m of savings made in the last two years.

The card has so far attracted few signatures Credit: ITV News/Duncan Sleightholme

Of the £46m, £19.5m of cuts are proposed for the forthcoming financial year, 2013-2014. All departments will be affected but the biggest cuts will be to adult social care, children's supported services and the Dorset Road Safety Partnership which operates things like speed cameras.

Councillors are debating the cuts today.

Dorset Council 'needs to save £46 million in 3 years'

The debate over the proposed cuts has just begun. The councils says it needs to cut £46 million over three years. Out of that, it has identified £19.5 million to cut in the coming tax year of 2013 - 2014.

The cuts will be made in all departments, but if the plans are approved, road safety, adult services, and children's support services will face the largest cuts.

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Vote on £11 million of cuts to council budget

£11 million worth of cuts is proposed Credit: ITV News West Country

Councillors in Dorset will vote today on whether to make cuts of £11 million to the county's budget. Protesters gathered at the weekend to urge the council not to go ahead with the proposals. It's the first of a three year plan to ultimately shave £40 million from the budget.

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