West Somerset councillors vote to lose chief executive
West Somerset councillors have voted unanimously in favour of making their chief executive redundant in a bid to make savings.
The role will be shared with neighbouring Taunton Deane Borough Council, provided its councillors vote in favour later.
But Taunton Deane could vote to have an open contest to recruit a new chief executive to lead both councils.
West Somerset's chief executive Adrian Dyer was due to retire in 2014.
Both he and Taunton Deane's chief executive, Penny James back the plans.
The idea is this is the first step along the way towards the two councils really merging their staff and services.
One of the particular reasons for pushing ahead with this vote now is to try and curry favour with government and get a bit of money out of them.
The government has put forward a transition fund of £10m-plus for local authorities who want to do this sort of thing.
West Somerset and Taunton Deane will be better placed to get some money having already started the process of transforming their services.
If they get the go-ahead, Mr Dyer will be made redundant in October and Ms James will take over.
But West Somerset has a number of other projects they want Mr Dyer to work on until next spring.'Get some money'
If the two councils do decide to proceed, staff and offices would be merged from 2015.
West Somerset has been losing £100,000 a year and has been warned it is not financially viable in the long term.
In February, the two councils agreed to work together and develop a business case.
Those in favour of a joint chief executive said it would save more than £75,000 per year.