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District councils sanction public poll over choice between Stronger Somerset and One Somerset

A LOCAL poll of all electors on two proposals for the future of local government in Somerset currently under consideration – One Somerset and Stronger Somerset – will go ahead later this month. 

The poll, which will be independently run and verified by Civica Electoral Services, will take place from May 18 to June 4. 

Every elector will be issued with a ballot paper and invited to vote by post or online.  

The ballot was agreed by each of the four Somerset district councils after they considered a a report which said holding a poll would “give residents a voice in the debate and help the Secretary of State in understanding and determining the level of support amongst residents for each of the options.” 

A notice on the Bridgwater Town Council website said: “The district councils approached Somerset County Council to take part in the poll. Somerset County Council has informed the district council leaders that it will not be participating in or endorsing the poll. 

“The district council leaders have written to the Secretary of State to inform him of the poll and its dates and ask that the result of the poll be properly considered as part of the decision-making process on the future of local government in Somerset.” 

Whitehall has already held an online consultation on the proposed changes but it was heavily criticized by all the district councils and Ian Liddell-Grainger, MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset.

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