Our current two-tier management of municipal services was designed 50 years ago before the commercial advantages of the M5, the Internet, mobile phones and GPS. Adjacent councils have already moved to the less expensive unitary structure with a management team.
The Conservative leadership of Somerset County Council has worked hard over the past four years to bring this normal business reform to the benefit of the citizens of Somerset.
Their One Somerset business plan, saving £18.5million a year, was drawn up by the successful unitary change project manager from neighboring Wiltshire Council. This will end confusion over who does what and eliminate duplication.
The Liberal Democratic Party wanted to replace five existing councils with five new organizations, including a combined authority and a shareholder-owned service delivery organization.
The current management has managed to pay £42,000 a day in interest on the £324m debt left by the latest Somerset LibDem council while improving services, perhaps most visibly the junction that resigns at Paul Street and Rowbarton . These were annoying at the time, but traffic flows have improved. The huge £8.3million upgrades to Creech Castle will soon be complete.
The Somerset Manifesto 2022 lists six plans ranging from managing our money to supporting us and our families.
It also has commitments for each existing district council area, such as a Taunton/Wellington cycleway, two further parks and rides and a new Taunton bus station.
Building the right houses in the right places is also a priority and the new council will ensure developers deliver community infrastructure, as happened 40 years ago with Comeytrowe Centre.
If we want to keep this capacity, this ambition and this low risk, we can elect Conservative councilors on May 5.
Chris Mann, Taunton