Somerset merger proposed for financial security

The leader of West Somerset District Council has asked for his council to merge with Taunton Deane Borough Council, in order for the financial security of both to be secured.

Anthony Trollope-Bellew argued that the budget gap, which is predicted to reach £1.2 million by 2021, could no longer be ignored, despite the council previously seeking the implementation of ‘special measures’ to make the deal viable.

The merger, which was agreed by Taunton Deane in July, would cost £6.8 million but would return predicted annual savings of at least £3.1 million.

Trollope-Bellew said: “Recognising the financial position in which we find ourselves (through no fault of our own) I think it is imperative, and in the best interests of our community, that we take a positive decision to create a new council.”

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