I AM pleased that the four Somerset district councils are not opposed to a unitary authority.

Firstly, because two-tier causes misallocation of income and priorities between district and county that would not happen under a single unitary council. 

While Somerset County Council has struggled with funding essential social and child care, Somerset West and Taunton seems to have plenty of money for diverse projects. 

Secondly, because the cumulative savings are huge. If councillors had voted for a unitary authority in 2007, they could have saved their citizens £200m in total annual savings plus £89m by not approving the defensive Southwest One, the unnecessary Ignite transformation and recent property renovation and speculation.

Devolving some services to parish and town councils if they want it would bring new clarity, focus, democracy and authority to the area where people actually live, especially to 30,000 Taunton citizens who don’t have a town council.

READ MORE: What you need to know about unitary plans for Somerset
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The four district councils propose Stronger Somerset with two unitary councils. Each would then need staff to run all the important care and highway services now provided by our single county council.

Stronger Somerset proposes a new additional Joint Enabling Service and an Integrated Delivery Service to combine two unitaries in a connected Somerset.

A single unitary Somerset council with 560,000 citizens would be better than two unitaries in matching the health system area critical to support an ageing population and thereby avoid the need for time-consuming negotiations across two authorities. 

One authority avoids unbalance and a larger concentration of deprivation in the west, and would also most reduce costs by properly utilising the massive improvements in communications and technology over the last 50 years. 

With one management team and 100 councillors, a single unitary has the big advantage over two unitaries of twice the annual transition savings, nearly four times the estimated five year savings and the shortest payback time.

Of course, One Somerset also gives the strongest voice for Somerset.