Help us shape a new unitary council for Somerset

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Help us shape a new unitary council for Somerset

Organisations from across the county are joining together to deliver a new unitary council for Somerset – and local people are encouraged to be part of the conversation.

A public meeting is planned at Donyatt Village Hall, near Ilminster, on 25 November, 3pm until 5pm. It’s the third in a series of monthly events where residents and communities are invited to learn about, and feed into, the new council process.

Members of the recently established Joint Advisory Board will be on-hand to answer any queries. They include representatives from Somerset County Council, the four District Councils, Somerset Association of Local Councils, City, Town and Parish Councils, health, police, education, and the voluntary and community sector.

The Board is also developing links with the Somerset Youth Parliament and is particularly keen to engage young people in the sessions.

The role of the Board is advisory, but its proposals, ideas and recommendations will feed in to the Local Government Reorganisation (LGR) Joint Committee – the decision-making body.

On the agenda at the Board this month will be the operating and governance principles of the new council, communications, an update on Local Community Networks (LCNs) and emerging plans for the next Town and Parish Council Conference.

Covid safety measures will be in place and mask-wearing is encouraged by attendees.

Chair of the Advisory Board, Cllr Faye Purbrick, said: “We want to build an organisation that delivers for Somerset and that everyone can be proud of. To achieve this, we need open and honest dialogue. That’s why we’re encouraging people to come along to hear first-hand the vision for the new unitary council and share with us their ideas.

“We value expertise and experience from wherever it comes, and we’re reaching out to Somerset’s residents, customers, communities, businesses and visitors, to hear their voices.”

On 1 April 2023, Somerset will become a unitary authority, replacing the current County Council and four District Councils with a single council governing the whole area.  Find out more here.

News item added: 17 November, 2021