Somerset County Council is inviting residents, businesses and organisations across Somerset to join discussions to help shape the future of public services in the county.
The Government’s eight-week consultation on local government reorganisation in Somerset closed on 19 April and letters have been sent to households across Somerset inviting people to get involved in the next steps.
The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government is reviewing the two proposals put forward:
- Somerset County Council’s proposal – called One Somerset – would see the four district councils and the county council replaced with a single unitary authority. So, replacing five existing councils with one new organisation.
- A proposal by the four district councils – called Stronger Somerset – would replace Somerset’s existing five councils with two new unitary authorities, a separate children’s services alternative delivery model, a shared services company, and a combined authority for the area. So, replacing five existing councils with five new organisations.
He will consider all the comments and feedback received during the consultation period before making a final decision later in the summer.
Cllr Faye Purbrick, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Transformation and Local Government Reform, said: “The Secretary of State is now considering the two options, but whatever happens next, it’s important we all work together and hit the ground running.
“That’s why we need to use the time now to start to plan for the future of services in the county in detail. This is an exciting opportunity to reshape local services in Somerset and we will be asking for people’s views and involvement every step of the way.”
Somerset County Council is planning to set up consultative groups to launch and develop ideas on the future of public services in Somerset. These will bring stakeholders together over the next 18 months to get involved in a once in a generation opportunity to reform the current system.
Anyone interested in receiving further information or in becoming involved in one of the consultative groups, can email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to: One Somerset, County Hall, Taunton TA1 4DY.
You can also keep up to date with progress and further opportunities by signing up to the One Somerset newsletter: https://onesomerset.org.uk/