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Somerset Council Financial Emergency – Ilminster Town Council communication.

Posted on 27th November, 2023 in News

Council Offices
Old Magistrates Court
East Street
TA19 0AJ
Tel: 01460 52149
e-mail: town.council@ilminster.gov.uk
23 October 2023

Dear residents,

RE: Somerset Council Financial Emergency

Over the past few weeks there has been much in the news about the financial difficulties that Somerset Council are facing and the fact that they have announced a Financial Emergency.
Unfortunately they are currently forecasting a £100MN deficit in this financial year with a possible £200mn loss in the forthcoming three years.

As a result of this, they announced just over two weeks ago that they would be looking to possibly devolve a number of services to town and parish councils to either take over running directly or ask for contributions for them to carry on providing. Many of the services that Somerset Council provide are in fact non-statutory and even some that are statutory may see reduced service levels provided.
At present, we do not know what services they will be other than they could include some of those services outlined in the on-line survey that is currently being carried out. Physical copies of this survey are available from the Library, the Information Centre and the council offices (between 11am and 2pm).
Officers and Members are currently working to establish what the services might be and also what cost it will be for the Town Council to take over and provide. It is the intention of the Town Council to look at services that it already has an expertise in and also which, by taking them on “in-house”, can hopefully ensure more regularity, care and pride can be brought to bear.

Having taken back the cemetery in the past 18 months from external contractors, members of the public have praised the changes that have already occurred there. There is more planned, but this is the sort of increased service delivery that we hope we believe will occur if we take some services over. Our current workforce takes great pride in the work that they are doing and
we hope that you would agree that it is showing.

I would have liked to have arranged for every property in Ilminster to have had this letter delivered to it by hand. However because of time constraints this has not been possible. I would therefore ask if you would share the contents of it as widely as possible and direct people to where they can either pick one up or find it online. You have my sincere apologies for asking
you to do this.

I would also urge you to complete the short survey, it only asks for three things to be identified so that we can try to use your thoughts on the journey in front of us.

Yours faithfully
Cllr Leanne Taylor
Mayor of Ilminster Town Council

Please click here to download the letter: Letter – Re Somerset Council from Mayor L Taylor 23-11-23

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