County Hall

Plans proposed to guide switch to unitary council in Somerset

A NEW Joint Committee to steer the move to a new single council for Somerset has been proposed by the leaders of the five existing councils in the county.

In July of this year the then Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government confirmed that Somerset would move to a single unitary council from April 2023.

A spokesperson for Somerset County Council said: “A number of democratic decisions and actions will need to be taken over the next few months before the new unitary council is established.

“The leaders of the existing five councils in Somerset are therefore proposing to set up a new Local Government Reorganisation (LGR) Joint Committee to oversee the process and work collaboratively on their behalf.

“Each individual council will need to discuss and take a formal decision before the Joint Committee is approved. This will take place at the following meetings: Mendip (October 4), South Somerset (October 7), Sedgemoor (October 13), Somerset West & Taunton (October 20), Somerset (October 20).

“The LGR Joint Committee would oversee the implementation plan and development of the new unitary council’s constitution and budget, along with providing collaborative decision-making in areas which could impact on the position of the new unitary council.

“It is proposed the LGR Joint Committee meetings will be open to the public to attend in venues around the county.

“It will be made up of nine members, including the five council leaders and four Somerset county councillors.”

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