MORE than 100 representatives from grassroots councils across Somerset will attend a conference in Bridgwater next week to learn more about plans to abandon district councils and the county council.

In April 2023, Somerset will become a 'unitary authority', with a single council governing the whole area - meaning district councils and the county council will be abolished.

On Thursday (October 7), those attending will learn more about plans for the new council. 

Parish, town, and city councils who have yet to register have until 5pm on Tuesday (October 5) to do so. 

The one-day conference, at the J24 venue, will give town, parish, and city councils the chance to hear first-hand from Somerset County Council, Mendip District Council, Sedgemoor District Council, Somerset West and Taunton Council, and South Somerset District Council about the vision for the new unitary council and to contribute to planning how it will deliver local services.

There will be more detail on the proposed Local Community Networks (LCNs) – an explanation of what they are and how they would work as committees of the new council’s cabinet – formal structures with real constitutional power. 

Break-out sessions are on the agenda covering key topics including elections and structural changes and the important role of the voluntary and community sector.

Speakers will include representatives from local authorities, Spark Somerset and Wiltshire Council, and the event will be chaired by Cllr Faye Purbrick, the county council’s lead member for local government reorganisation. 

The day will end with a question and answer session.

Parish, town, and city councils that have yet to confirm attendance can sign up via 

There’s a maximum of two delegates per council. Delegates should include their name, and parish, town, or city when they register.