Public invited to help shape local democracy in Somerset, as consultation launched

A public consultation on the development of Local Community Networks (LCNs) has been launched.

People are encouraged to have their say on plans to develop LCNs across the county, to support decision-making at its most local level.

You’ll find the link to the consultation HERE.

Opinions are being sought on a range of aspects, from LCN roles and responsibilities, boundary options, to choosing a suitable name.

The consultation is supported by the County Council and four district councils (Mendip, Sedgemoor, Somerset West and Taunton, and South Somerset) who will be replaced by a single Somerset Council on 1st April 2023.

Councillor Val Keitch, Somerset County Council Lead Member for Local Government Reorganisation, said: The new unitary Council will cover a large geographic area, so we are mindful we need a model for communities where local voices are heard, partners are brought together, and decisions are taken with the benefit of local knowledge and experience.

“LCNs will be Committees of the unitary Council, supported by dedicated officers and managers, with formal decision-making powers and influence. They will address local issues and priorities, support health and wellbeing activities, and improve outcomes for our residents.

“We want the public to help us shape them. That’s why we are encouraging people to take part in the consultation and have their say on how LCNs will operate, and where they think they should be located.”

Cllr Keitch added: “LCNs must have the potential to develop their role alongside the new Somerset Council in the years to come. And it’s important to stress, in this challenging economic environment, that they must be effective, sustainable and also affordable.”

Have your say! The public consultation is open now, and runs for six weeks until 17th October 2022.

Please visit our website for further details, including information about our in-person engagement sessions which take place across the county in the coming weeks.

You’ll find theconsultation HERE.

Check out our interactive map, to see where your parish fits in relation to the three boundary proposals HERE.

There is a dedicated inbox for all LCN enquires. Email us at LCN@somerset.gov.uk