Leader to recommend merger

    Leader to recommend merger

    Leader to recommend merger

    Monday 22 August 2016

    Leader of West Somerset Council Anthony Trollope-Bellew will recommend the council approves the option for a merger with its partner, Taunton Deane Borough Council.

    He will also recommend the council agrees to a shared programme designed to modernise and streamline services and the way decisions are made – a process known as “transformation.”

    The full council is due to meet on Wednesday September 7 to decide whether to merge with Taunton Deane, separate from its partner or carry on the existing partnership although Taunton Deane has rejected this choice.

    Taunton Deane and West Somerset have been partners, with a single officer team, since 2013 and the initiative has delivered £1.8 million in savings annually shared proportionately between the two authorities for investment in community services.

    Earlier this year Taunton Deane and West Somerset councils requested a business case to examine the potential for future savings and ways to streamline service delivery. Taunton Deane Borough Council has voted for a merger of the two existing councils to create a new authority covering both geographical areas.

    This option, agreed by the Taunton Deane’s full council on July 26, would produce savings of at least £3.1m a year through modernising processes and decision-making.

    West Somerset Council’s scrutiny committee has met twice to debate the business case and options. At its meeting on Tuesday August 16, scrutiny members agreed to recommend that the third option, for West Somerset to leave the partnership and follow its own path, should not be the preferred option.

    The report is available to view here: http://www.westsomersetonline.gov.uk/Council---Democracy/Council-Meetings/Full-Council/Special-Council---7-September-2016

    END

    Contact:

    Debbie Rundle, on behalf of West Somerset Council, 01823 356407 or 01984 635280 email d.rundle@tauntondeane.gov.uk