Joint statement from the Leaders of Taunton Deane Borough and West Somerset Councils Councillors John Williams and Anthony Trollope-Bellew:
We were made aware earlier this week of Somerset County Council’s thinking regarding a unitary authority being established or looking at other solutions.
These are early days without firm proposals on the table to consider but we have consistently stated that we are willing to discuss further joint working with other councils and our position has not changed
As is widely known, Taunton Deane and West Somerset’s proposal for a single new council covering their geographical areas is at a very advanced stage. We have had the Secretary of State’s approval and expect the new council to come into being in April 2019 – subject to Parliamentary approval.
Our transformation programme, designed to modernise and streamline what we do and how we do it, is under way. This, together with the new council, will deliver £3.1m in savings each year – money that will be invested in services our residents value.
“The transformation programme is for the benefit of the people that we serve and any future proposals will need to show further significant benefits.” Said the Leaders.
Elections for the new council will be held in May 2019, in line with scheduled district council elections across Somerset.