- West Country (E)
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Two councils in Somerset are to merge management to save money.
At separate meetings tonight, West Somerset District Council based in Williton and Taunton Deane Borough Council voted in favour of the deal which will see savings of almost £2m a year.
Opponents fear it'll mean dozens of job cuts.
A decision is expected today on a proposed merger between two Somerset councils. Taunton Deane and the much smaller West Somerset could combine in a move that would save more than £1.5million a year. But opponents fear a merger could lead to dozens of job cuts.
Taunton Deane councillors have voted in favour of sharing a Chief Executive with neighbouring West Somerset Council.
West Somerset - the smallest council in the country - is facing a financial crisis due to its size.
It's seeking to share further services, subject to a business plan going before both councils in October.
Crisis talks have been held over the future of West Somerset Council. It's the smallest local authority in England and leaders believe it can no longer afford to stand alone.
Members have been discussing ways of ensuring its survival. Richard Lawrence has been at the meeting in Williton.
Councillors in West Somerset meet this afternoon to discuss the authority's financial future, amid warnings it could go bust. They will consider whether to collaborate with neighbouring councils or simply commission all services from other bodies.