The new parish council will be known as Langport & Curry Rivel.
Why Group (merge) the Parish Councils of Langport and Curry Rivel?
Approach the Langport from Curry Rivel and the road sign announces Langport, the boundary is very close to the centre of Langport.
To the visitor and, more importantly, to the village resident none of the separate ethnic origins remain, and the precise line of the common boundary is not clearly understood. Langport and Curry Rivel share many facilities -Huish Episcopi school, GP surgery and shops. The historian may find the history interesting and quaint but for many generations Langport and Curry Rivel has simply been one community but represented at local government level by two parish councils, it makes sense in these times of austerity to merge the two.
The current situation, with two separate parish councils, is inefficient -- both parish councils carry public liability insurance; two parish clerks are employed; two web sites are maintained; and two sets of meetings are held (current legislation also implies that two Data Controllers will need to be appointed, making matters even more cumbersome). Money has to be passed backwards and forwards between the two councils to pay for the jointly managed services such as grass cutting, or two separate payments made where both councils support a community facility such as the village hall. It manages village-wide issues in a piecemeal manner -- planning applications and development proposals for example -- and lacks the means to provide one central point of contact for parishioners to raise local matters.
To summarise, the advantages which would follow grouping of the two parish councils are:
Greater simplicity — one single point of contact for parishioners and one (louder) voice to speak for the whole community
More effective management of community concerns
Cost savings currently estimated at around £3,900 pa
There seem to be few reasons against grouping of the parish councils -- only two readily come to mind, vis:
Historical -- it's always been that way!
Reduction in representation -- currently nineteen Councillors represent the two parishes based on the number of properties in each parish, this would become 12 in total and only one Parish Clerk.
What happens next?
A newsletter will again be distributed throughout both parish council areas, published on both PC websites, the Curry Rivel News and the Langport Leveller; this will provide an update on the background to the proposals to group (merge) Langport & Curry Rivel parish councils, and progress so far. This will be followed by door to door visits on behalf of both parish councils, to invite electors to sign the relevant petition. When (and if) sufficient signatures have been obtained on each petition, the petitions will be submitted to South Somerset District Council to take the matter forward.
St. Andrew's Church
St Martin's Church
URC Chapel, Wiltown