Nearly a million people woke up this morning to find they had a new council- one of the biggest authority shake-ups in more than forty years.
Nine councils in Dorset have merged- East Dorset, North Dorset, West Dorset, Purbeck, Weymouth and Portland, Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole and Dorset County Council have been replaced by two new 'unitary authorities'; Dorset Council and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council.
Bosses say the move will save money and mean more efficient services- but the move means many more people will have higher council tax bills.
- Watch Richard Slee's report:
Bournemouth Borough Council can trace it's history back to 1890, based in the current town hall since 1921. The last council meeting a few weeks ago was a solemn affair.
There were similar ceremonies in Poole and Christchurch.
The new boss of the new council for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole says the two much larger unitary authorities will not only save money, but be good for future investment.
- Graham Farrant, Chief Executive, BCP Council
New branding is also going up in Weymouth, where a new town council has been created which will cost local tax payers an extra £100 a year.
The feeling here is that the much larger Dorset council is too remote to serve the needs of many residents.
- Jane Biscombe, Weymouth Town Clerk
A new town council has also been created in Christchurch, although the need for that new authority is less clear.
The changes in Dorset do come at a cost. Redundancies alone could be as much as £2million.
But overall, it's claimed that as much as £100million could be saved over the next 6 years.
Those who've studied this sort of council re-organisation say there' s good and bad aspects to it.
The council's profile is likely to rise when people take a closer look at their council tax bill.