Somerset Council
Type
Type
History
Founded1 April 2023
Leadership
Chairman
TBD
Leader (designate)
Bill Revans[1]
Structure
Seats110 councillors
Somerset County Council composition
Political groups
Administration (61)
  Liberal Democrat (61)
Other parties (49)
  Conservative (36)
  Green Party (5)
  Labour (5)
  Independent (3)
Length of term
4 years (from 2027)
Elections
First past the post
Last election
5 May 2022
Next election
2027
Meeting place
County Hall at Taunton
County Hall, Taunton
Website
https://newsomersetcouncil.org.uk/

Somerset Council is the unitary authority that will replace Somerset County Council on 1 April 2023.

History

The Conservative governments of Theresa May and Boris Johnson undertook structural changes to local government in England that resulted in several county councils and their district councils being replaced by unitary authorities.[2] Somerset County Council first made plans for unitarisation in 2018.[3] The county council proposed a single unitary authority that would encompass all the districts, while the district councils proposed two unitary authorities representing the east and the west of the county.[4]

A non-binding referendum of Somerset residents held in June 2021 expressed a preference for the proposal for two unitary authorities.[5] Robert Jenrick, the minister responsible, instead approved the plan for a single council in July 2021.[6][7]

The council is due to assume full power on 1 April 2023.[8] It will act as a shadow council following the first election to the new council, which took place on 5 May 2022, using the boundaries for the old county council but with double the number of councillors.[9]

2022 election

On 5 May 2022, the Liberal Democrats won a majority of 61 of the 110 seats, giving them control of the unitary authority from 2023.[10]

Affiliation Members
Liberal Democrats 61
Conservative Party 36
Green Party of England and Wales 5
Labour Party 5
Independent 3

See also

References

  1. ^ "Somerset election results 2022: Lib Dems win control". BBC News. 6 May 2022.
  2. ^ Bunn, Jon (2 October 2019). "Jenrick: 'no long-term future' for districts in devo push". Local Government Chronicle (LGC). Retrieved 24 January 2022.
  3. ^ "REVEALED: Plans to scrap SIX Somerset councils in bid to save millions". Somerset County Gazette. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
  4. ^ "Unitary Somerset: 'Based on a giant lie' or 'the right way forward' for the county's future?". Somerset County Gazette. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
  5. ^ "Somerset: controversial poll opts for two-council future". BBC News. 7 June 2021. Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  6. ^ "Somerset councils to merge into single unitary authority". BBC News. 22 July 2021. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
  7. ^ "Next steps for new unitary councils in Cumbria, North Yorkshire and Somerset". GOV.UK. Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government. 21 July 2021. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
  8. ^ "Name revealed as plan for one council in Somerset takes next steps". Somerset County Gazette. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
  9. ^ Mumby, Daniel (2 December 2021). "Elections to new Somerset Council set for May 2022". SomersetLive. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
  10. ^ "Somerset election results 2022: Lib Dems win control". BBC News. 6 May 2022. Retrieved 7 May 2022.