Somerset Local Government Reorganisation Joint Scrutiny Committee
Purpose of committee
Information about Local Government Reorganisation Joint Scrutiny Committee
The agendas and minutes for these meetings can be viewed on the Somerset County Council website at this link: Somerset County Council
They will be published 7 days before the meeting.
Following the Secretary of State’s decision, extensive collaborative work has been undertaken by the five councils to support the implementation of the single unitary council in April 2023. Through partnership, the programme governance arrangements have been jointly established with oversight and direction from the Somerset leaders and chief executives. The LGR Joint Committee has agreed the Terms of Reference for the LGR Joint Committee and included provision for the creation of a Joint Scrutiny Committee in those Terms of Reference.
The establishment of the JSC will create a collaborative democratic mechanism which will establish a countywide scrutiny framework allowing the Constituent Councils to scrutinise the LGR Joint Committee in an effective and timely manner in relation to the preparation for the establishment of the unitary council in Somerset. It will also positively respond to DLUHC’s expectations for collaborative arrangements to be established as early as possible in the implementation programme. The JSC will be consulted and have an opportunity to make representations to the LGR Joint Committee in relation to budget setting for the new Unitary and any medium-term financial plans. The establishment of the JSC will also ensure that all Councils can play an important role in helping shape the direction of the implementation process but without leading to duplication and delay.
The Local Government Reorganisation Joint Scrutiny Committee of sixteen members drawn from the relevant overview and scrutiny committees of the Constituent Councils, eight from the County Council and two from each of the District Councils (eight in total) with the Chair being appointed from the District membership and the Vice Chair from the County membership. Allocation of the seats has been based on individual councils. This ensures the political make up of each constituent council is represented and is reflective of the fact that the Constituent Councils are currently individual sovereign councils.