WHILE I voted against unitary status for Somerset when originally proposed I fully support the proposal now. 

The closer working together then promised by the status quo has not materialised.

Life has moved on. Covid has accelerated the changes coming at us. It is all about delivering services in a different and more responsive way, cutting out layers of bureaucracy.

The days of “them” either local or central doing it all for us are over: out of touch and unaffordable.

The old TDBC embarked on ‘transformation’ with the emphasis on digital delivery.

This has enabled the new SW&T to collaborate with SCC, who embraced home-working overnight and has ensured much joined-up delivery of services.

We are actually three-quarters of the way to unitary working. The emphasis is on online delivery with the UK being well ahead of the game in going digital.

READ MORE: What you need to know about unitary plans for Somerset

The idea is to have one single Somerset authority setting policy and providing a strong unified voice for Somerset in the South West.

Actual delivery will take place at the appropriate local level for that particular service. 

This will involve local people and volunteers as it is not possible to outsource compassion and concern for others.

That programme on Social Care really did flag up for me how socially isolated people become once into the world of social care. 

It is up to us all to be aware of and supportive in such situations.

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As for a world health crisis – nature rules okay! 

This pandemic is a Black Swan event- unexpected and unforeseen. It is here to run its course.

Interestingly that cruise ship quarantined for Covid has proved a good case study. 50% tested negative and 50% positive for anti bodies.

Of that 50%, 20% showed symptoms and 80% none. Of the 20%, 4% were serious and 1% actually died.

Those of who are vulnerable to winter ailments such as flu have to accept the situation –

I have already started on building up my supply of loo paper!

Kingston St Mary