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Voters choose Stronger Somerset
07 June 2021 : Council news
The voters of Somerset have spoken and shown their support for Stronger Somerset – the plan for two councils, an Eastern Somerset and a Western Somerset council, to replace Somerset’s existing five county and district councils.
The result of the local poll, which closed on Friday 4 June, was delivered today by Civica Electoral Services, who independently ran and verified the ballot.
The result, as announced publicly by the District Council Leaders, was:
Stronger Somerset 72,561 65.3%
One Somerset 38,547 34.7%
Total votes cast 111,589
Invalid votes 481
Total votes counted 111,108
Total eligible voters 436,607
In a joint statement the Leaders of the four District Councils of Somerset said: “This is a crystal clear message to the Secretary of State from the people of Somerset. The option for change they prefer is the Stronger Somerset plan for two unitary councils.
“There are potentially significant changes ahead for local government in Somerset that will affect residents’ services and their quality of life for decades to come. We believed it was important that the residents of Somerset were given a proper say in their future in a simple and democratic way.
“We put our faith in the voters of Somerset to make up their own minds by organising a local poll, independently run and verified, while others took every opportunity to discredit the poll and to stifle debate.
“The government claims they had thousands of responses to their consultation, but they cannot say for sure how many came from Somerset residents. More than 111,000 residents have now had their say in this poll – that’s a huge number and cannot be ignored.
“We thank everyone who has voted in this poll. Their voices must now be taken account of in the decision-making process. People have considered the merits of the options before them, they have made their choice – people prefer their local government more local. So, let’s have the decision from the Secretary of State and let’s move forward together to a Stronger Somerset.”