Taunton has been an “unparished area” for more than 40 years – since the last major shake-up of councils nationally in 1974. It means the town has been served by Taunton Deane Borough Council since it was created.
The creation of the new district council provides an opportunity to look at how Taunton could be parished – and the Leaders of both existing councils are willing to review this and implement if the community supports it.
Councillor John Williams, Leader of Taunton Deane Borough Council, said work would start in earnest on grass roots democracy with the aim of giving Taunton a voice in its own right.
Parish and town councils deliver a range of services to their communities - from maintaining closed churchyards and allotments, to managing parks and green spaces and in some cases, facilities for young people.
Their role can range from taking full responsibility for a service, managing it on another organisation’s behalf, or monitoring its provision in the area. Some town councils start new services, while others take over existing ones.
“Taunton has grown and changed over the past 40 years and the creation of the new council is a golden opportunity to address what many may perceive as a democratic deficit,” said Borough Council Leader John Williams.
“There’s a huge amount of detailed work to be done and I hope this can be achieved to the point where there are firm recommendations to the new district council that will be established. This is the opportunity to review the principle of parishing the Taunton unparished area as part of the overall process and I am sure fellow councillors will support this approach.”