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2007 One Council for Wiltshire

As many of you will be aware, the government has given the go-ahead for major changes to local government in Wiltshire. Five councils (1 county and 4 district) will be replaced by just one council covering the whole of Wiltshire.

This will save Wiltshire taxpayers 18million each year by 2012, as well as providing more effective, easy to access services and increased opportunities for local decision making and community involvement.

The aim is to bring simplicity, clarity and value for money - to strip away layers of red tape and get the services and decision making closer to the people.

The new council will work hard on keeping local government local with a raft of measures. New Community Boards will enable local people to play a bigger role in planning services best for their own community, and Parish and Town councils will have a bigger part in decision making.

One of the new authority's first jobs will be to review all central services to make sure they are cost effective. And in order to ensure the new council keeps its promises, it has pledged to create an independent Citizens Panel as a public watchdog to oversee the work.

Many countywide organisations, such as Wiltshire Primary Care Trust, Wiltshire Probation and the Wessex Association of Chambers of Commerce, have welcomed the prospect of working with one authority that mirrors their own Wiltshire wide boundaries.

For full details of the bid, the transition plan and a set of the most frequently asked questions, (together with answers!) go to www.onecouncilforwiltshire.co.uk.