Javid approves Somerset council merge

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has approved the creation of a new district council covering the Somerset region.

Under the merge, Taunton Deane Borough and West Somerset councils, who have been working in partnership since 2013, will continue implementing new ways of working to streamline and modernise what they do, delivering £2.6 million in savings. The new council initiative will increase the savings to £3.1 million annually.

Javid said: “I am satisfied that these criteria are met and that the new district council is likely to improve local government and service delivery in the area, commands a good deal of local support, and that the new council area is a credible geography. My intention is that if Parliament approves this legislation the new council will be established on 1 April 2019 with the first election to the council held on 2 May 2019.”

The leaders said in a joint statement: “We welcome the Secretary of State’s announcement that he is approving the proposal for a single new council. This has been an understandably long process and the final decision gives us the ability to look forward with far more clarity, and unity. This new council will make sure we can continue to deliver our services in a way that’s sustainable into the future.”

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