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The battle for North Somerset

North Somerset is a unitary authority with all the seats up for election on Thursday. At present it is a Conservative council with a large majority. There are 46 Conservatives, five Lib Dems, three Labour councillors a Green councillor and six others. In the elections this time only the Conservatives are contesting all 58 seats - the Labour Party 53 and the Lib Dems 42.

The Council is switching off 1,500 of its 20,000 street lights to save money and reduce carbon emissions. This has followed similar trials which indicate no increase of crime of traffic accidents.

The local Conservatives have had an unfortunate split involving a dispute over the proceeds for the sale of a minibus. This seems to have been resolved.

The Council  has done a good job defending services and saving money on items like scrapping its sub for the Local Government Association. It is saving a substantial sum by merging services - for instance £700,000 is being saved by joint working with the NHS. Transferring buildings to charitable costs is reducing running costs. £80,000 is being saved from councillors allowances and expenses.


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