Today the Government has backed the One Somerset model of local Government reorganisation. This will mean that four District Councils and Somerset County Council will be replaced by a new unitary local authority.
This is great news for us all in the South West following successful similar changes in neighbouring counties. It will lead to better delivery of services in a more efficient way and a more strategic, joined up approach to things that affect us all. Planning and funding for housing, infrastructure, economic and environmental development are key areas I am confident will benefit from County-wide overview and expertise, and the ability to speak with one voice after close local working.
I know from my work as MP that local people have not found it straightforward navigating which council is in charge of what. This change will massively improve that but I also think it’s great that it will empower parish councils and other local groups to have even more of a say with fewer layers of bureaucracy.
The hard work starts now to make sure the potential is delivered and I will do everything I can to support that. I would also like to say there are many excellent people currently working for South Somerset District Council who I hope can be involved and will contribute to the success of this. I hope they will get in touch with me or via the One Somerset web site to put themselves and their ideas forward and help make it happen.