West Somerset Council
West Somerset Council employs a number of full-time and part time staff and have offices in Killick Way, Williton. Many of their staff also work for Taunton Deane Council in a shared officer arrangement. This has been done to save costs as central government spending has been reduced over the years. West Somerset Council is the smallest by population in England which has made it vulnerable to the impact of the spending cuts. As you may be aware, West Somerset Council is going to fully amalgamate with Taunton Deane to form a new district council in May of 2019. Already many officers are working out of the Taunton Deane council offices. You may well find yourself talking, emailing or writing to a person there rather than in Williton.
The District council, be it the outgoing West Somerset Council or the new future 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 28 West Somerset District councillors, two of which are elected by Williton. I am one of them and Hugh Davies is the other. Hugh is also the only County Councillor for the Watchet & Stogursey Ward which includes Williton. 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.