Town councillors are urging voters to attend next week’s “consultation roadshow” and protest against the planned merger of Taunton Deane and West Somerset councils.
“It’s a dreadful idea that will swallow millions of pounds that could have been spent on infrastructure,” commented Cllr Andy Govier. “West Somerset is too small to be viable and Taunton has decided to rescue it. It’s road to disaster for Wellington and Taunton.”
Official figures show that the merger will cost almost £7m, with only £1.1m coming from West Somerset and £5.7m coming from Taunton Deane.
Other councillors made the point that the consultation event on January 17th is in a small venue – Wellington Library – and at a time 10.00 – 3.00pm when many people will be at work and not able to attend. “The library is not a very big venue for a meeting of this importance,” complained Cllr John Thorne.
Another opponent of the merger proposal, Cllr Ross Henley, urged the public to visit the consultation website at http://www.yournewcouncil.org/your-views/ and put forward objections that may still persuade the Secretary of State to block the plan. “There will be a massive dilution of Wellington’s voice on the new council if this scheme goes ahead,” said Cllr Henley.
“The Secretary of State has not signed off on this, so it’s not a done deal even though TDBC wants it to happen. People should go out and make their views known,” said Cllr Gary James.
The council voted 6-4 to write to Taunton Deane council with a formal note of opposition to the merger, as part of the consultation process.