Contact Us

Dennett House, 11 Middle Street
Taunton, Somerset, TA1 1SH

Find Us

Tel: 01823 270101                    
Email: info@swcouncils.gov.uk

The Team




  • What is South West Councils?

    SW Councils is a politically led, cross-party organisation working by consensus for the benefit if its member organisations and the South West.
    Our vision is:

    “To help make the South West an even better place to live, work and visit."

    Our three key overarching objectives are:

    1. Supporting member authorities as Employers, encouraging improved performance and capacity across the region through the provision of high quality HR advice and support, and the sharing of accessible information and knowledge on a range of relevant issues;
    2. Assisting member authorities and associate members to enhance capacity and service delivery through developmental activities for improved performance and efficiency;
    3. Support authorities in sharing best practice and knowledge and in having a South West voice, built on consensus, of issues on national policy and funding, working with the national Local Government Group, when this is deemed appropriate by Members
  • Who are the member organisations?

    The membership is all 33 South West local authorities plus a range of Associate member organisations including police, fire and rescue services, National Parks, Town and Parish Councils, Housing Associations, Schools and others.

  • Can my organisation become an Associate organisation?

    Membership is open to a wide range of public sector and not for profit organisations. For more information please contact us on info@swcouncils.gov.uk.

  • When was South West Councils formed?

    South West Councils was formed in 2011 but has it roots in forerunner bodies: the South West Provincial Council formed in 1966 and the SW Local Government Association and Regional Assembly formed in 2001.

  • How is South West Councils funded?

    More information on the funding to support the work of South West Councils can be found here.

  • How is the expenditure audited?

    All the work of  South West Councils is subject to external audit.  An audit by CLG found the financial system a model of good practice, containing all the necessary checks and balances.

  • What is the legal position of subscriptions?

    In terms of the legality of local authorities funding the work of South West Councils, Members and Officers have considered this issue and concluded that it continues to be appropriate under the Local Government Act.

    The question of the legality of the subscriptions has been raised by a member of the public with the District Auditor for Devon County Council, Mr Alun Williams. In his response the auditor stated that: "Local councils can now rely on Section 2 of the Local Government Act 2000, which gives a local authority power - the well-being power - to do anything which it considers is likely to achieve the promotion or improvement of the economic, social and/or environmental well-being of its area".

  • What is the legal status of the organisation?

    South West Councils is run by its elected Members via the Resources and Management Committee (RMC).  It is an Employers' Association within the meaning of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.

  • Who set the boundaries for the South West region?

    Broadly speaking (bearing in mind the Local Government Review in 1974) the current boundaries of the 'South West region' have been in use for many decades, certainly since the Second World War. When the regional network of Government Offices were created in 1994, they adhered to the same boundaries. These have ceased to operate.