COVID has certainly accelerated many changes as expected by many people - and some perhaps unexpected.

What opportunities open up! 

It has also proved that our current system of government in its widest sense is not fit for purpose; too centralised and too diffuse in accountability. The cabinet and civil service recognise and have begun work on this.

To be accurate, much of local government is actually local administration, or delivery of central government policies and services. The councils do not have much choice.

The remit of the county is transport, education and social services. Their budget is over 60% spending on social care (also funded by NHS and Health Authorities). 

The district council is responsible for planning, environmental health and housing.

Taunton itself lacks its own town council to take responsibility for what happens in Taunton. A town council usually has a larger remit than a parish council or meeting but all are the first layer in delivery services to residents.

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The embryo of a Taunton Town Council is now being hatched by the “foundation trustees “(councillors from the un-parished areas of Taunton comprising over 34,000 residents) who administer the un-parished area fund (the equivalent of the parish precept but funded by all the residents of the district).

It is their job to speak up for the centre of Taunton and get things done.

The political role lies in giving voice to the needs and aspirations of the area. 

People identify themselves very much with a particular place, i.e. Somerset rather than Somerset East or West or whatever.

Now that so much money for major projects comes from dedicated regional funds and pots, to get a share, Somerset must be quick off the mark to argue (shout!) with one clear voice for Somerset in the South West!

Kingston St Mary