Residents, businesses, public sector partners, parish and town councils and the voluntary sector were invited to take part in the consultation that was designed to gather views and invite ideas.
The responses have been collated into a 34-page report and included in the two councils’ submission to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP.
Individual responses are publically available online here: www.yournewcouncil.org/news
Additionally, two independent telephone polls were conducted by Populus Data Solutions – at no cost to either council – to assess residents’ awareness of the new council proposal. Initial findings showed that 53% were aware – after the consultation the figure rose to 61%.
Taunton Deane Borough and West Somerset councils have been working in partnership since 2013 and are now asking for the Government to decide on whether they can combine to create a single new council covering the two geographical areas.
A new council, coupled with a programme to streamline and modernise ways of working and service delivery, will save the public purse around £3.1m a year.
Feedback from the consultation showed support from most neighbouring local authorities and Somerset County Council, local businesses, health and education partners and general support from parish councils.
“We would like to thank all those who took part in the consultation – their views, both positive and negative, are important. It is now up to the Secretary of State to consider the responses as part of the evidence in the case for a new council. This was not a referendum or poll – it was designed to gather views and now it is for the Secretary of State to decide if our request to form a single Council is approved,” said a spokesman for the two authorities.
Released jointly on behalf of Taunton Deane Borough Council and West Somerset Council
Debbie Rundle Media & Communications officer 01823 356407 or 01984 635280