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Leaders of Mendip District Council and South Somerset District Council meet to discuss Eastern Somerset unitary council

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The Leaders of Mendip District Council and South Somerset District Council have met to discuss next steps in the establishment of a new Eastern Somerset unitary council.

Stronger Somerset, the plan for two councils, Eastern Somerset and Western Somerset, to replace Somerset’s existing five county and district councils, was the overwhelming choice of local residents in the recent Local Poll, winning 65% of the vote.

While the Council Leaders now await the decision of the Local Government Secretary, Robert Jenrick, they know they must begin making arrangements to ensure a smooth transition.

Image showing Leaders of Mendip and South Somerset

This will involve closer working together as two district councils and joint working with the county council.

“The new councils are due to come into existence in April 2023,” said Cllr Ros Wyke, Leader of Mendip District Council. “That may seem a long way off, but we have a tremendous amount of work to do before then.”

“We need to agree plans for transition and implementation in the coming months, so we need to get to work straight away,” said Cllr Val Keitch, Leader of South Somerset District Council. “We invite our colleagues from the county council to now join us in this important task.”

The decision of the Local Government Secretary on the future of local government in Somerset is due before the summer Parliamentary recess on 22 July. It is expected that the Stronger Somerset proposal will be the future if he listens to the people’s verdict.

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