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Stronger Somerset is the best choice to build the future we deserve

11 September 2020 : Council news

JOINT PRESS RELEASE FROM MENDIP DISTRICT COUNCIL, SEDGEMOOR DISTRICT COUNCIL, SOMERSET WEST & TAUNTON COUNCIL, AND SOUTH SOMERSET DISTRICT COUNCIL

A fresh start for Somerset moved a step closer today as every Somerset district council overwhelmingly backed a bold new plan - Stronger Somerset - which promises real change in the way that services are provided for residents and businesses.   

At Full Council meetings at Mendip, Sedgemoor, Somerset West and Taunton and South Somerset District Councils this week, 84% of councillors voted to support the proposal.

All political parties and the majority of independent councillors have expressed approval for the Stronger Somerset plan which is also receiving the backing of residents across the county.

In a joint statement, the Leaders of the District Councils said: “This really is a momentous week for Somerset as we move forward a plan that will make such a difference to the lives of everyone in our county.

“Central Government has made it very clear that they want a unitary solution for Somerset. It is now up to us to determine the type of unitary we want.

"Stronger Somerset is the plan which puts people, businesses and the environment first, investing in Somerset, while remaining close to our communities.

“It will also give the hard-working staff providing essential services the leadership and resources they need to deliver even better outcomes.

“District councils, which have been on the frontline in supporting communities and businesses through the Covid-19 crisis, are already leading the way with projects and services that make an economic and social difference but we know we can do more. Stronger Somerset is our ambitious and exciting plan for how to do just that.”

The district authorities worked together on the Stronger Somerset plan which focuses on extensive reform of way councils work and an end to the current two-tier system of local government with county and district councils.

Councils are expected to receive a formal invitation shortly from the Government to submit their business cases. There will be an eight-week Government-run consultation later in the year and councils have been advised that new organisations will be in place by April 2022.

To find out more about Stronger Somerset, see all the details of our proposals and to provide your feedback, visit the website. You can also keep up to date on Twitter and Facebook @strongsomerset.