East Dorset District
Image: 150 pixels
East Dorset shown within Dorset
East Dorset shown within Dorset
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionSouth West England
Non-metropolitan countyDorset
Admin HQWimborne
Incorporated1 April 1974 to 30 March 2019
 • TypeNon-metropolitan district council
 • BodyEast Dorset District Council
 • LeadershipAlternative - Sec.31 (Conservative)
 • MPsChristopher Chope
Simon Hoare[1]
Michael Tomlinson
 • Total136.8 sq mi (354.4 km2)
 • Rank(of 309)
 • Total89,400
 • Density650/sq mi (250/km2)
 • Ethnicity
99.0% White
Time zoneUTC0 (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
ONS code19UD (ONS)
E07000049 (GSS)
OS grid referenceSU0130301959

East Dorset was a local government district in Dorset, England. Its council met in Wimborne Minster between 2016 and 2019.[2][3]

The district (as Wimborne) was formed on 1 April 1974 by merging Wimborne Minster Urban District with parts of Ringwood and Fordingbridge (in Hampshire) and the Wimborne and Cranborne Rural Districts. It was known as East Dorset from 1988 to 2019. The district was abolished on 1 April 2019 at the same time as the County Council was abolished. The area was incorporated into Dorset (unitary authority) meaning the historic county obtained one main tier of local government for the first time since the c.1500-c.1850 vestry system.

The popularity of the area, being close to the New Forest, Bournemouth and the Dorset coast saw a rapid expansion in housing from the 1970s with the Verwood, Ferndown, West Moors and Corfe Mullen populations more than quadrupling. Rural landscape prevailed in the north and west of the area. Wimborne Minster retained its identity as a historic market town.

The most notable geography is lowland heath, managed by East Dorset Countryside Management Services in partnership with the Forestry Commission. The expansion of housing has led to a massive decrease in the area of this unusual and unique habitat, which once covered 500 km2 but now covers only 15% of that.

Statistics released[4] by the Office for National Statistics show that life expectancy at birth for males in East Dorset was 80.1 years in 2001–2003, the highest in the United Kingdom. Female life expectancy at birth for the same period was 83.4 years, ranking seventh in the UK. The figures for East Dorset during 1991-1993 were 77.9 years for males and 82.5 for females.


See also: East Dorset District Council elections

East Dorset District Council was elected every four years, with latterly 36 councillors being elected at each election. After 1976 the Conservative party held a majority on the council apart from a period between the 1995 and 1999 elections when the Liberal Democrats had control. Following the 2015 election the council's politicians were:-[5]

Party Councillors
Conservative Party 24
Liberal Democrats 3
Independent 2

The district and its council were abolished on 1 April 2019 and, together with the other 4 Dorset districts outside the greater Bournemouth area, formed a new Dorset unitary authority.[6]


Settlements with a population over 2,500 are in bold.

See also


  1. ^ "Dorset North Parliamentary constituency". Election 2015. BBC. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  2. ^ "Relocation of East Dorset District Council offices". news.dorsetforyou.gov.uk.
  3. ^ "Contact East Dorset District Council". www.dorsetforyou.gov.uk.
  4. ^ Life expectancy at birth in the United Kingdom, Office for National Statistics
  5. ^ "Local election results for Christchurch and East Dorset". dorsetforyou.com. 13 May 2015. Archived from the original on 13 May 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  6. ^ Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (25 May 2018). "The Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole (Structural Changes) Order 2018". legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 28 May 2018.

Coordinates: 50°48′59.84″N 1°58′53.36″W / 50.8166222°N 1.9814889°W / 50.8166222; -1.9814889