THE competing unitary council options moving toward a new vision for local democracy in Somerset are pushing ahead.

Somerset County Council has backed a business case under the banner ‘One Somerset’ for a new, single unitary authority for the county, while the districts have put together their own vision, ‘Stronger Somerset’, which would create two unitary councils - one for Sedgemoor and Somerset West and Taunton, another covering the Mendip and South Somerset areas.

This week, Sedgemoor District Council’s members gave strong backing to the ‘Stronger Somerset’ business case, endorsing the business case at a full council meeting by 39 votes to zero.

At the meeting, on Wednesday afternoon (September 9), Sedgemoor voted for a proposal that would essentially see itself abolished - along with the county council - and replaced by the two new unitary authorities.

READ MORE: Somerset County Council backs 'One Somerset' plan

READ MORE: Business plan for TWO unitary councils in Somerset revealed

Labour leader at SDC, Cllr Brian Smedley, described the Stronger Somerset vote as “a more democratic option than the remote county monolith threatened by One Somerset and one which commits to better service provision, protects jobs and restores historic powers to the towns and parishes.”

However Cllr David Fothergill, leader of Somerset County Council, said: “We’ve always been really clear and positive about the benefits of One Somerset – it ends confusion, removes duplication and provides a fantastic opportunity for people to get involved with the things which matter to them in their communities.”

This week, the county council heralded a new national report by the independent County Councils Network, which suggests that implementing unitary authorities would ‘reduce complexity and risk, improve service performance, and could save £2.9bn over five years nationally’.

To find out more about Stronger Somerset go to, and for One Somerset go to