Joint Council Statement from the Leaders: Working together for the communities of Somerset

On Wednesday 2 May 2018, Somerset County Council announced that it intended to start a conversation with the district councils and other partners to explore whether a unitary model of local government could be a better way to deliver public services in Somerset.

All councils in Somerset recognise the need to explore ways in which public services can be delivered to achieve best value for money for the residents and businesses of Somerset in the most cost-efficient and effective way.

The Leaders of all five district councils and Somerset County Council  have pledged today to work together on a joint review of local governance in Somerset. The aim of the review will be to determine the best way of delivering local public services and meeting community outcomes in Somerset in the future.

Whilst the details of the review are still to be finalised, the leaders have committed to some important principles including:

·       Ensuring the review is independent of any one or group of organisations and that the focus of the review is on what is best for Somerset and its communities

·       Considering a whole range of options for the future, with all options having a robust business case analysis

·       Inviting others, including health care, to work with the Councils on the review

·       To engage with communities and stakeholders through the review process, keep people informed and undertake community consultation before any final decisions are made

Work will now commence on drawing up detailed plans and timetables for the review and further updates will be issued in due course