THE proposed merger between two Somerset district councils will be given the “thumbs up”, one county MP has claimed.

Ian Liddell Grainger has stated on his website that Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has said he is “minded” to approve a merger between Taunton Deane Borough Council and West Somerset Council.

A spokeswoman for both councils said they had still need heard the outcome of the merger application.

Mr Liddell-Grainger said: “Sajid Javid telephoned me and said he was now minded to approve the merger plans of Taunton Deane Bough and West Somerset District – plans which I believe are undemocratic and dangerous. 

READ: Taunton Deane and West Somerset Councils send merger document to Sajid Javid

“Presumably, there will be champagne corks popping in Taunton. The formal announcement will be made tomorrow. But the fight to maintain West Somerset’s independence is very far from over.  

“Being minded to accept the plans is not the end of the story. There now follows a period during which the Secretary of State must listen to all parties before reaching a final conclusion.

"I intend to use every conceivable method to demonstrate my contempt for this merger proposal. It is based on false arithmetic. It has virtually no public support. It will deprive 35,000 of my constituents of proper representation at council level and it makes no more sense today than it did when the plans were announced 18 months ago. I have campaigned in the House of Commons to highlight what is wrong.”

A document backing the case for a merger of the two district councils ahead of elections in 2019 was sent to the Government earlier this year.

If Secretary of State Sajid Javid approves the application Taunton Deane and West Somerset Councils would dissappear and a new authority would be created.

It would take the current partnership between the two councils that has seen them sharing services and management since 2013 a step further.

The link up has already saved almost £6 million of taxpayers' money and a full merger would cut the authorities' spending by £3.1 million a year.

Both councils voted last year to merge and their application for approval is only the second to land on Mr Javid's desk - the first two councils are in Suffolk.