Leaders from the four Somerset district councils have thanked the more than 111,000 people who voted in a local poll on options for change in local government in Somerset.
Those voters backed the districts’ Stronger Somerset plan for two new unitary councils – one for Western Somerset and one for Eastern Somerset. The margin of preference over the county council-backed plan for one council was 65% to 35%.
In a joint statement the Leaders said: “It was really important for residents to have their say in their future and more than 111,000 did. The changes that lay ahead will affect residents’ services and their quality of life for decades to come.”
“District councillors across parties put their political differences aside and put their faith in the people of Somerset to make up their own minds and we thank everyone who voted.”
“You have told us clearly and decisively that you want Stronger Somerset – the district councils’ bold new plan for two new councils that work together where it makes sense while also ensuring your services stay local.”
“What matters now is that the people’s will is respected. The Local Government Secretary, Robert Jenrick, must listen to this very clear message. Anything else would be a betrayal of the people of Somerset.”
Pictured are (l-r): Cllr Federica Smith-Roberts, Leader, Somerset West and Taunton Council; Cllr Val Keitch, Leader, South Somerset District Council; Cllr Gill Slocombe, Deputy Leader, Sedgemoor District Council; and Cllr Ros Wyke, Leader, Mendip District Council