THE Onesomerset unitary authority, as proposed by Cllr David Fothergill - leader of Somerset County Council - is not only a scheme or vision that will be bad for Taunton, but the whole of Somerset, especially rural areas in our county.

Cllr Fothergill will have, under this 'vision', all the government rebates and funding within his grasp, to spend where he decides, with little scrutiny from outside his own administration.

That’s presuming that no-one else within the 'elected executive' challenges him for this prestigious and financially-beneficial role, as no doubt the salary of a leader of a unitary authority will be substantially more than his present salary!

What is wrong with the Onesomerset proposals: Biased presentation to residents and district councils over the previous 2/3 years, which has not allowed debate or questions to be answered.

Only 19 per cent of those who have seen the Onesomerset online presentation agreed that it could be OK for Somerset.

The other 81 per cent said more information required.

What is to be understood is that SCC will continue to be in control of this new Onesomerset, just renamed.

This Onesomerset single-tier proposal is not a single tier!

The facts are that under this proposed unitary, the first tier will be the lead power - controlling all income and expenditure of this massive authority, then in the middle tier - a new group of administrators - obviously highly paid executives, enabled by the top power to oversee the next local tier - of town and parish councils - who will be expected, indeed responsible for, some 37 services that the top tier no longer wants to have responsibility for providing, offloading this to part-time parish councillors in their villages and towns.

Only large settlements (town councils) will have the capability of carrying out any of these services.

Then, the whole package itself has not been fully costed, just estimates.

Even councillors on SCC, at a virtual meeting I attended last year, raised issues and were quickly dismissed by this arrogant leader, who came across as a bullying force.

Then there is the alternative unitary bid - by the district councils - who have an alternative proposal to cut costs, manpower/jobs, to deliver a two-tier new unitary to deliver all services across Somerset, with the merging of four councils into two, dividing the services across the county, working in partnership to deliver these services.

Of course this is dismissed by Cllr Fothergill, as his all-singing unitary is the only option on the board for consideration in his viewpoint.

Deluded or what? David who?

Under this adminstration, it is SCC who is making all the decisions. This is not democracy in 2021.

The residents of Somerset, when asked, have not been fully consulted.

Imagine how bad it will become when and if this Onesomerset is allowed to become the controlling administration.

It’s our Somerset, not David Fothergill’s. He must be stopped.