You can read the report here.
Below, the County Councils Network responds to the report’s findings.
Simon Edwards, director of the County Councils Network, said:
“All councils in Somerset are clear that the status quo is no longer an option. The County Councils Network (CCN) has always supported its members’ own decisions, and Somerset County Council’s decision to advocate a single county unitary model is based on a great deal of evidence.
“As CCN’s research into new models of governance shows, a single county unitary provides the largest benefit, both financially and structurally, compared to other types of reform; allowing the area to best adapt to the challenges of this new decade, protect frontline services for residents, and to provide a strong platform to support economic growth.
“The county council’s powerful documentary on the future of social care services shows why the status quo is potentially unsustainable; but splitting up this vital service into two or more councils contains real risks, alongside less financial benefit for the area.
“With debates re-igniting over governance models for councils, the government’s forthcoming devolution framework needs to offer clarity for local authorities on how reform can be achieved most effectively for those considering reorganisation and those who wish to retain a two-tier structure.”