Changes already underway
- A significant programme of change, focusing on how we are structured and how we work and deliver services is already underway. This will see more services available on line, streamlined processes and an increase in locality working (working in our communities rather than our main offices).
What will change by creating a new single council?
- There would be just one district council covering the areas currently administered by West Somerset Council and Taunton Deane Borough Council;
- There would be fewer district councillors. We estimate that numbers will reduce to around 50-55 from the present 84 (28 West Somerset and 56 Taunton Deane currently);
- There would be a single revenue budget for delivering services across the new area;
- The new Council would cost less to run than the present two councils;
- The new council would employ fewer staff;
- Council tax levels are already very similar (there is only £2.68 at band D per year difference between each council) and over time this would be equalised in order that the same levels of council tax applies over the new combined area;
- The name of your district council – this is an important decision that will need to be made shortly and we would welcome your suggestions.
What won’t change?
- Council Housing tenancies (Taunton Deane) – You would remain a council tenant. Your tenancy agreement would move to the new council.
- Magna Housing tenancies (West Somerset) – Nothing would change. Your tenancy would not be affected. You would continue to be a housing association tenant with Magna.
- You will still be able to vote for a local district councillor to represent your community;
- Services which are the responsibility of Somerset County Council would be unaffected by this proposal (e.g. education, social services and highways);
- The new council will continue to look for opportunities to work in partnership with others, including the county council and the town and parish councils wherever this is of benefit to our communities.
West Somerset Council
- Population: 35,000
- Households: 18,000
- Businesses: 1,800
- Councillors: 28
- Area 280.63 square miles (726.84 km2)
Taunton Deane Borough Council
- Population: 111,000
- Households: 50,200
- Businesses: 3,800
- Councillors: 56
- Area 178.87 square miles (463.26 km2)
Q1. Do you support the proposal for creating one new council as part of a financial savings package in order to protect services?
Q2. Do you think the new single district council will be able to provide effective and convenient services to you?
Q3. Do you have a suggestion for the name of the new council?