Plans approved to merge Somerset and Devon's Trading Standards

Plans to create a joint Trading Standards service for Somerset and Devon have been approved by Somerset County Council.

The move will see staff maintained in both counties, and resources shared rather than duplicated in each area.

The authority said the merger was expected to save the authorities £579,000 over the next three years.

The plan, for the 10-year contract, was approved at a council meeting earlier.

Ten full-time posts out of 94 will be lost across both authorities but there will be no compulsory redundancies, a council spokesman said.

'Enhanced service'

It was also confirmed that staff would be transferred under a Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment to become employees of Devon County Council.

Paula Hewitt, from Somerset County Council, said: "A key part of our agreement is that customer service will not be adversely affected by this merger and should be enhanced.

"I'm confident that this agreement will mean Trading Standards can continue to provide excellent services across both counties, whilst making significant savings."

It is also expected that office premises in Chelston in Somerset and County Hall in Exeter, Newton Abbot and Barnstaple will be retained.

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