Somerset West and Taunton Council
Somerset West and Taunton Council employs a number of full-time and part time staff and have offices in Deane House, Belvedere Road, Taunton, TA1 1HE and West Somerset House, Killick Way, Williton TA4 4QA. In April 2019 the former West Somerset Council amalgamated with the former Taunton Deane Borough Council to form a new District authority, Somerset West and Taunton Council. This has been done to save costs as central government spending has been reduced over the years. West Somerset Council was the smallest in England by population which made it vulnerable to the impact of the spending cuts. Before the amalgamation the two former councils shared many officers to reduce costs. Although some officers are based in Williton, many are in Taunton and you may well find yourself talking, emailing or writing to a person there rather than in Williton.
The District Council is responsible for providing a number of important services. It is also the agent for collecting Council Tax and Business Rates. Only a portion of Council Tax is kept by the District Council, most of it is passed on to other councils or bodies such as the Police, the Fire Service and the Somerset Rivers Authority. All business rates are passed on to central government in London.
If you have a problem with these try the District Council first:
- Environmental Health
- Housing benefit
- Off-street car parking (council car parks) – note on-street parking is County Council
- Building Regulations
- Tree preservation orders
- Listed buildings
- Waste collection from households and businesses
- Recycling centres – in a partnership with all Somerset District Councils and the County Council
- Street cleaning
- Licencing – pubs, clubs, street traders, zoos, large events, taxis etc
The Council is also responsible for minding money from developers of building projects (section 106 funds) and some of the money given by Hinkley Point C power station for spending in communities. These funds are for local communities who should apply for them if there is a project they are trying to get off the ground or expand.
There are 59 Somerset West and Taunton District councillors, three of which are elected by the voters in the new ward of Williton, Watchet and Sampford Brett. I am one of them and Hugh Davies and Loretta Whetlor are the others. Hugh is also the only County Councillor for the Watchet & Stogursey Ward which includes the parishes of Williton, Watchet and Sampford Brett. You can contact Ian Aldridge as a District Councillor by email here, phone me on 01984 634727, write to me at my address or knock on my door to speak to me face-to-face.