Local poll on future of local government in Somerset goes live
Ballot papers will start dropping through letterboxes this week for the local poll on options for change in local government in Somerset.
The local poll was agreed by all four district councils at meetings on Friday 30 April.
The poll asks voters to choose between the two options being considered by Government to replace the existing five councils – county council and the four district councils:
- One council for Somerset (“One Somerset” – the plan for a single council proposed by Somerset County Council)
- Two councils for Somerset: Eastern Somerset and Western Somerset (“Stronger Somerset” the plan for two councils for Somerset – an Eastern and a Western Somerset council – proposed by the four district councils of Somerset).
The poll is being independently run and verified by Civica Electoral Services on behalf of the four district councils.
The ballot papers will be accompanied by two information leaflets – one on each proposal.
Councillor Val Keitch, Leader of South Somerset District Council, said: “The reorganisation of local government affects everyone. It will have a profound impact on local services, individual and community prospects, local representation and health and wellbeing across the county.
“Local people must be allowed to have the opportunity to have their say clearly and unambiguously. A properly organised, independently run public vote is the best way to ensure that happens.
“I urge everyone to use their vote, whichever option they prefer.
“The people’s choice must be respected.”
The District Council Leaders have written to the Secretary of State to inform him of the poll and its dates and ask that the result of the poll be properly considered as part of the decision-making process on the future of local government in Somerset.
All votes must be received by 5pm on Friday 4 June.