THE FIGHT GOES ON

To rephrase the famous Kenneth Wolstenholme 1966 World Cup commentary: "They think its all over.....well it isn't!"  The Housing and Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, failed to listen to all the arguments. Far too many assertions in the Merger Business Plan were taken at face value. Updates were …
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A sign of the times?

I have to admit it made me look twice. Three times actually. Many drivers smiled. Some guffawed. Somerset's county town has now earned the attention of a local graffiti artist, if not the affection of its long-suffering inhabitants.  Of course if (and it is still a very BIG if) Taunton Deane Borough …
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STOP THAT MERGER

January 19th is less than three weeks from now. Time to get cracking by adding your name to an important petition which has been launched locally. The Jan 19th "deadline" was set by the Communities and Local Government Secretary when he announced he was "minded" to accept a plan to merge West …
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COUNCIL MERGER THUMBS UP?

Tonight Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, telephoned me. He said he was now "minded" to approve the merger plans of Taunton Deane Bough and West Somerset District - plans which I believe are undemocratic and dangerous. Presumably, there will be champagne corks …
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Taunton Diddycoy Borough Council

They rolled into the staff car park at Deane House Taunton the other day and set up camp. Perhaps they were attracted by the promise of rich pickings as the interior of the council buildings is ripped apart and emptied of possessions. Deane House, remember, is being refurbished at sky-high public …
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Peregrine strikes again

Birds of prey tend to do what birds of prey were designed to do. Their attacks are usually unannounced. Sometimes the results are gory. But at least the carnage is swift.  St Mary Magdalen Church in Taunton has now installed cameras and nest boxes to encourage the town's Peregrine falcons to stay …
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Taunton Council Fly-tipping scandal?

This time, surely,  Taunton Deane Borough Council has gone too far. Extravagant works are now underway to "refurbish" Deane House (total cost £11 million plus!) and the council seem to be chucking away anything useless. One of my sharp eyed readers sent in this snap of a Taunton refuse bin …
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WEST SOMERSET DESERVES BETTER

I have now had the dubious privilege of reading a complete text of an interview given by West Somerset's Joint Chief Executive to the magazine Municipal Journal. It made me furious. She has provided the magazine with false estimates of savings from the merger proposals. At one point she appears to …
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What the Chief Executive said….

Silence ought to be golden for a council Chief Executive. As the most senior officer in a local authority anything said in public is likely to have repercussions unless very carefully phrased. So when the joint Chief Executive of Taunton Deane and West Somerset councils opened her mouth to the …
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Whose land is it anyway?

In America they call it "real estate". In Taunton, where "record housebuilding" is very popular with one local MP, it seems to be another golden opportunity to make piles of money. Highways England have held regular talks with Taunton Deane Council and concluded that if you want to push the Leader's …
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