Two Somerset councils have been given ministerial approval to merge together to form one new single council.
Local government minister, Sajid Javid, has approved plans for Taunton Deane Borough and West Somerset Councils to merge.
He said that: 'The new district council is likely to improve local government and service delivery in the area, commands a good deal of local support, and that the new council area is a credible geography.’
The two councils hope the merger will deliver £3.1m savings per year.
Leaders of the councils, cllrs John Williams and Anthony Trollope-Bellew, said: ‘We can now start making definitive plans to make sure that a new council can be ready for business in May 2019, following local elections.
‘This is now the time for us all to work together to make sure that we can deliver a unified, modern and fit-for-purpose council to serve all our residents.’