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Referendum on the future of local government in Somerset:

by adamboyden on 2 June, 2021

Everyone on the electoral roll has a vote in a local poll (referendum) on the future of local government in Somerset – see here. This was agreed by all four district councils on 30th April, and asks voters to choose between the two options being considered by the Government to replace the existing county council and the four district councils: 

District councils agree to negotiate unitary plans for Somerset in 'u-turn'  | Somerset County Gazette
  • or Stronger Somerset – the plan for two councils for Somerset – an Eastern and a Western Somerset council – proposed by all four district councils in Somerset – see https://www.strongersomerset.co.uk/.
Plans for referendum on future of local government in Somerset on hold  following angry letter from secretary of state - Somerset Live

It is hoped that the Secretary of State for Communities will take account of the results, as well as the feedback from the official stakeholder consultation (see here). Please use the official One Somerset website above and not the spoof website erroneously referred to in a leaflet sent out with the ballot papers (see here). The Leaders of the four district councils have replied to the letter from the Secretary of State of 24th May, setting out the actions the councils have taken to mitigate the error, and have also written to the Leader of Somerset County Council – see here.

I am supporting Stronger Somerset as it should give local residents a more locally accountable and responsive council to run local services, and One Somerset risks over-centralising power in Taunton and giving Frome residents too little say (which is often the case with Somerset County Council). Please look at the options and have your say by Friday 4th June.

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