Welcome to Codswallop Council

I am delighted to learn that the new West Somerset and Taunton Council will be "Championing People, Place and Prosperity" - whatever on earth that means. I am equally thrilled to discover that employees of this "World Changing" council will soon be offering services "delivered by empowered and …
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Zap Pow Kaboom!

The Beano. It was an important part of my childhood. Yours too perhaps. The Beano was created in 1938 in Scotland by DC Thomson the publisher. I have cherished Dennis the Menace and Gnasher ever since. Whoever says I'm biased against the Scots should learn to laugh a little. At themselves. Yes, the …
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The Minister who Came to Tea

The earnest chap in the light blue shirt  ( top left of my picture, behind  the plate of mouth-watering dainties) is no less a figure than Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment. He's been pressing the flesh and sampling a lot of Exmoor's excellent hospitality. He's also met with farmers …
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Shock and Eeyore

Local government in Somerset is in a period of extraordinary upheaval. Taunton Deane and West Somerset may become one new council if the Government pass the necessary regulations in time. Somerset County Council could vanish altogether to be replaced by a giant Unitary authority which could easily …
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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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