THE recent option appraisal for local government reorganisation being promoted by Somerset County Council is entirely unconvincing.

This reorganisation is a grab of resources from solvent councils which will then be spent on an unwise, risky and unnecessary reorganisation.

This is clear as day when one considers that the county council only has reserves equal to 7% of annual spending whereas Somerset West and Taunton, for instance, has reserves of 149%.

This is a desperate attempt by the current Tory administration in County Hall, to kick the can down the road for a few more years, in the hope that savings will materialise to keep the council from going bust.

But the costs and disruption of reorganisation may be higher than predicted and the savings lower, leading to a worse situation across the whole of current council services within Somerset.

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The county council is failing due to underfunding and cuts by the Tory government.

The real solution is to properly fund the vital work of the county council in social care after years of Tory cuts. This reorganisation is a political fig leaf for the Tory party which will damage viable councils while failing to prop up failing councils.

Better then, to implement the low cost “option 1”; keep the current structure and seek incremental improvements and efficiency savings.

The fact that this option is not even being taken forward to a full business case shows this reorganisation exercise for what it is; a cynical political attempt by the Somerset Tory party to hide the real cause and blame for the current situation.

That blame really lies with the Tory Government’s decision to impose hundreds of billions of pounds of austerity and spending cuts on public services, while at the same time allowing the Bank of England to create £435 billion through “Quantitative Easing”.

The effect of this was to increase the wealth of the already well off while cutting the standard of living further for those already struggling.

It is to be hoped that the people of Somerset will not be fooled by this cynical ploy and will demand proper funding of local services.