It has always been an aim of Wells Independents to return decision making to Wells – Wells people deciding what is best for Wells. WIN councillor Stewart Cursley is working to restore responsibilities and powers to Wells City Council. He writes:
“The Government has decided that there will be a new unitary council arrangement in Somerset. Where we currently have three tiers of councils – county, district and parish – we will have two. Parish councils (Wells City Council is classed as a parish council) will remain and will be joined by a unitary council replacing district and county councils.
“What will a unitary council look like? There are two competing options and Government will decide on one of them:
- Somerset County Council’s business plan is based on the current county border.
- The business plan from the four district councils in Somerset proposes two unitaries: East and West Somerset. In the east it is proposed to merge Mendip and South Somerset.
“Whatever geographical area a new unitary council operates in, it is vital that it commits to work in partnership with the parish sector and local communities. Indeed, this commitment should be embedded from the start into any new unitary structure.
The current timetable:
- 9 Dec 2020 One Somerset and Stronger Somerset submit their business plans to Government
- Feb-March 2021 Government consults on the business cases – how this will happen is unknown
- June/July 2021 Government decides on which business plan to adopt
“Following the Government’s decision about which business plan to adopt, WIN Councillors will continue to work with the successful group – either One Somerset or Stronger Somerset – to improve the range of assets and services devolved to Wells and its community.”