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Step closer for One Somerset and the end of district councils

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SOMERSET County Council has approved a business case for One Somerset, which would set up a single unitary authority and abolish the current system of having five district councils.

They said that by having a single council, it would be “bringing numerous benefits and opportunities to Somerset businesses and communities.”

The case for One Somerset will now go to Government for a final ruling. They say, “Further consultation will then take place in autumn 2020 with the aim of a new single council fully operating from 2022.”

In a joint statement, the district councils, including Mendip said, “Somerset’s district councils remain disappointed that the county council walked away from the shared work to create a better, more integrated system of local government in Somerset that will improve quality of life for communities and make the system more efficient.”

Green Party councillor for Frome East, Martin Dimery, said he and his Green Party colleague, cllr. John Clarke, had vigorously opposed the plan. He said, “We have been consistent in our concerns that Frome, in the north-east corner of the county, is disadvantaged by being 50 miles from Taunton. If the functions of Mendip District Council in Shepton Mallet are swallowed by a new authority in Taunton, development planning and other vital services will be governed not only by officers who may have little association with the town, but by councillors living as far as 80 miles away.”

 

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