A NEW website aims to keep residents informed as Somerset prepares to become a 'unitary' county.

The four district councils - Somerset West and Taunton, South Somerset, Sedgemoor and Mendip - along with Somerset County Council, will soon be disbanded, making way for the new unitary authority in April 2023.

Now, newsomersetcouncil.org.uk has been launched to keep residents updated on planning ahead of the change.

A statement by the five council leaders, published on the site, said: "We are agreed on the need for change. At the start of this process, we put forward and debated differing visions for the way forward.

"The resulting government decision is that we adopt a single unitary authority for the whole of Somerset.

"This new council will be shaped by the debate with a firm focus on being accountable and responsive to needs of people and communities across Somerset.  

"We are committed to working together for a new Somerset Council that: frees up resources to invest in our communities and high-quality services; grows Somerset’s voice nationally, helping to deliver the investment in business and infrastructure that our county deserves; and drives action to tackle climate change."

It is signed by Ros Wyke, Mendip District Council; Duncan McGinty, Sedgemoor District Council; David Fothergill, Somerset County Council; Federica Smith-Roberts, Somerset West and Taunton Council; Val Keitch, South Somerset District Council.