There has been a lot of chatter about local elections in the national news, and several people have asked Bristol.Live why we haven’t had any coverage of the impending votes. Well, the simple answer is because we don’t have any local elections taking place. In a rare turn of events Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset will not hold any council elections on May 3, meaning there will be no chance to change the political make-up of the authorities. In fact, the only vote taking place in the region will be on May 24th for the Westbury-on-Trym and Henleaze by-election which was triggered after Liberal Democrat councillor, Clare Campion-Smith stood down at the start of April. The lack of elections is down to the voting cycles employed by the individual councils. Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset councils all work to a four-year voting pattern. The last local council elections for South Gloucestershire and North Somerset took place in 2015, meaning … [Read more...] about Will Bristol, South Glos and North Somerset council have local elections in May?
West somerset council
A GREAT deal has been written, claimed and counter-claimed in recent weeks about the proposal for a new council covering Taunton Deane and West Somerset. It’s a shame that those voicing such strident opinions against the proposal cannot even agree on why it should not go ahead. On one hand, we have those claiming that council tax payers in Taunton Deane will be bailing out ‘bankrupt’ West Somerset. On the other, we have those who say West Somerset’s financial situation is comfortable and the council can carry on as it is. Both are fundamentally wrong - and they fail to see that the proposal is about more than that. READ MORE: More news on the merger plan It’s about being a united and strong voice for our area and one able to serve its residents and businesses effectively and efficiently. First, the bail-out claims: A fundamental point being missed throughout is that neither council would subsidise the other. Under the proposal to create … [Read more...] about LETTER: Taunton Deane and West Somerset leaders respond to council merger concerns
WEST Somerset Council is considering a council tax increase of 3.32 per cent for the next financial year. The council says it will be able to set a balanced budget in the coming year, despite substantial cuts in general funding support. The council has received its provisional settlement from Government that sets out the share of grant funding and business rates income that will be due to West Somerset in the next financial year from April 2018. The actual grant settlement – made up of revenue support grant, rural services delivery grant and new homes bonus grant – totals £738,000 next year. This is £296,000 or 29 per cent less than the current financial year. A share of business rates income is kept by West Somerset under the “retention” system. The settlement has confirmed the baseline and tariff amounts included for West Somerset retention calculations which is £218,000 lower than previously forecast. However, overall the … [Read more...] about West Somerset Council considers 3 council tax rise
EVERYONE in Somerset has a parish or town council elected to look after their interests - apart from the county town of Taunton. Labour district councillor Libby Lisgo is now busy drumming up support to put that right by creating a Taunton town council. Ms Lisgo says the situation will get worse if the proposed merger of Taunton Deane Borough and West Somerset Councils gets the go-ahead from the Government. She said: "A town council will ensure that Taunton’s needs are addressed coherently and strategically by representatives elected from each community working together and accountable to town residents." A town council would enable the community to have more control over local issues, act as a voice for residents, support local groups and seek grants and funding to top up money raised locally. Services provided by the authority could include allotments, public toilets, youth projects, street lighting and cleaning, parks, crime reduction measures and community centres. … [Read more...] about VOTE: Should Taunton have a town council? It’s the only place in Somerset without one
I AM disappointed that, despite public opposition, Taunton Deane Borough Council and West Somerset District Council are pushing ahead with their misguided merger. We have one more chance to put a stop to this by appealing to the government department who have to approve it and would encourage your readers to do so. They can both sign the Liberal Democrats petition and find a link to the Department for Communities and Local Government website to contact them directly. I have already done so and have told the Minister that he has a responsibility to stop a merger that is going to make a council with a divided focus and a less accountable to its voters. TDBC centres on a county town of around 65,000 people and villages which are within very close reach of the town. West Somerset District Council is far more rural, much geographically larger, despite the smaller population and the largest town within it is Minehead, a town of around 12,000 that, nonetheless, is a large distance … [Read more...] about LETTER: ‘Council merger will benefit no one’