Webuyanycouncil.com?

Politics can be a cold cruel calling. Whenever a Government loses a general election the removal vans arrive quietly around dawn at the rear entrance of Downing Street. Prime Ministerial personal belongings are hurriedly loaded aboard by men in brown overalls. Careers vanish into cardboard boxes. …
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Another Fine Mess (from Taunton Deane)

 “This is a council that has to provide services. Did you not realise that? You have to keep the council’s services running even during this transition period. I cannot understand the mess we’ve got into. I am disillusioned." So saying, Rosemary Woods, Watchet's representative on West Somerset …
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DEAL OR NO DEAL?

A little light reading? You decide. There are summaries in most of the papers, but if you want to get to grips with the fine print I can help: BREXIT DRAFT WITHDRAWAL AGREEMENT IN FULL The Agreement, published yesterday, is less than half as long as Leo Tolstoy's famous tome "War and Peace" - but so …
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Two Short Planks

Running a large local authority is not easy. Leading one can be equally fraught. Unfortunately both the Chief Executive of Somerset County Council and now the Leader, Cllr David Fothergill, have trodden on a landmine that they were both responsible for planting. It is, after all, bad enough to be …
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Spend Spend Spend? Somerset loses the plot

Ian Liddell-Grainger

PLEASE DO NOT ADJUST YOUR CALENDAR. Today's date is November 1st, not April 1st. But the extraordinary management team at Somerset County Council have now decided that even though they are strapped for cash, making cuts like a frenzied butcher and about to get rid of 130 staff, the time is right to …
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Pedalling Poppies in Parliament

2.33kms in five minutes will never win me a yellow Tour de France jersey or even a minor place on the podium, but this wasn't really a race. The Royal British Legion came to Parliament with their static exercise bikes to persuade as many MPs as possible to have a go. 120 of us did! Competing against …
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Where are the men in white coats?

I remain deeply worried about the financial state of Somerset County Council and the deep cuts proposed for essential public services. I am also increasingly concerned that the top management at County Hall is in severe danger of losing both the plot and their own credibility. On Monday the …
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GOOD RIDDANCE

Ms Penny James, Chief Executive of both Taunton Deane and West Somerset councils, has decided to cash in her substantial retirement package and declare herself redundant. This is represents no real change. There will be few tears. Ms James has an extraordinary record in local government. She was one …
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County Hall Cuts – Why I will meet the unions

The County Council  crisis, and the scale of the spending cuts already proposed, is far too important and worrying to ignore. Today I met with a team from Unison representing front-line workers in vital services. They are my constituents and they have given me a detailed glimpse of the scale and …
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Where will the new council be?

Deane House in the centre of Taunton has been done up. It cost an absurd sum - £7.5 million for the building work and decoration alone. Even dottier is the fact that the site, tarted building included, will be worth less than £2.5 million when complete. Oh yes, I almost forgot, they have failed to …
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