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.
West Somerset Council could be jointly managed by its much larger neighbour, Taunton Deane Borough Council. West Somerset Council based in Williton serves just 35,000 people and is England's smallest district authority.
Last night (Monday 4 March 2013), Taunton Deane Borough Council said it would look at plans that could mean joint working between the two authorities.
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.
West Somerset Council is so financially stretched that its future is in doubt, according to a confidential report seen by the West Country Tonight
It says the council, the smallest in the country in terms of population, may not be able to continue providing services for much longer - and should consider merging with a neighbouring authority. Our Somerset correspondent David Woodland reports.