Stronger Somerset is approved as the best choice to build the future we deserve
Stronger Somerset is approved as the best choice to build the future we deserve.
A fresh start for Somerset has moved a step closer 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, 84% of councillors voted to support the proposal.
All political parties and the majority of independent councillors have now expressed approval for Stronger Somerset which is also receiving the backing of residents.
In a joint statement, the Leaders of the District Councils said: "This really is a momentous time for Somerset as we move forward with 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 that puts people, businesses and the environment first, investing in Somerset, while remaining close to our communities.
"It will also give hard-working staff providing essential services the structure 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, which is the result of extensive research and expert advice, is our ambitious and exciting plan for how to do just that."
The district authorities worked together on the Stronger Somerset business case which focuses on extensive reform of the 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.
This statement is jointly issued by Mendip District Council, Sedgemoor District Council, Somerset West and Taunton Council and South Somerset District Council.