The unitary debate around how our councils should be run continues with two statements this week from Somerset County Council and the four District councils. Frome Town Council has issued a position statement which is as follows.
Rich Ackroyd, Leader of Frome Town Council said: “We note that Somerset County Council and the four Somerset District councils are proposing new council arrangements following a demand from Government to reduce the cost of local authorities in Somerset. The two options being proposed are different and both may have merits. And, of course, full analysis of these will require much more detail.
Whatever form the current Somerset structure of four district and one county takes in future, it is vital that much more decision making and provision of services are devolved to the local community via parish and town councils.
A new unitary or other district led arrangement should provide services and make decisions only when it’s inappropriate to do so at the community level. This should be at the heart of the unitary discussions and not left until afterwards.
We look forward to working with our partners at the district, the county level and beyond Somerset to create an appropriate unitary council built on the foundation of devolving services to the community level.”