Sharp Drop in Number of GPs

New figures revealing a sharp fall in GPs per person in Somerset have been highlighted by the LibDems who want to see “proper investment in GP services”.

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Double By-election Success!

In an unusually high turnout for local by-elections Tom Deakin, 26, today won the Wilton and Sherford seat on Somerset West and Taunton council becoming the LibDems’ newest and the district’s youngest councillor, in the early hours of this morning. 

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A New Vision for Tonedale

In two 'landmark' purchases since 2019, the Liberal Democrat-led Somerset West and Taunton Council has wasted no time in showing its serious intent to invest long-term in the town and people of Wellington and has acquired not only the community open space of Fox's field - which backs on to the main Fox's mill site - but also, in the Spring of this year, the old Tone Works further to the north, just off the B3187 Milverton Road. You may well know the site as the location of the increasingly popular Pump House restaurant!

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At last week’s first in-person meeting of Somerset West and Taunton Council for over a year, local LibDem councillor Dawn Johnson slammed Conservative government plans to give over huge swathes of countryside as so-called 'growth areas'. She also emphasised that this would be depriving local councils everywhere of important powers they have held for more than a century: namely to have the final say in where and when development is permitted to happen.

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Cllr Alan Wedderkopp Memorial Bench

By now we expect you have heard that our much respected and admired councillor, Alan Wedderkopp, sadly died on July 17 this year.  A memorial service for Alan will be held on Friday 13 August at St George’s Church at 2pm.

It has been suggested that a memorial bench in his memory would be a fitting tribute to his unfailing support of Lib Dem principles and his dedication as a councillor. Comeytrowe Park is the chosen site; Alan had represented the people there as their county councillor for many years.  We very much hope that you will want to join in this tribute to Alan, known to and loved by so many of us.

Contributions can be made in these ways:

through our bank account sort: 30 98 45 account no: 01498063, quoting your surname and Bench as the payment reference,

or by cheque payable to Taunton Liberal Democrats. posted or delivered to our office at Old Harness Room, 83 Staplegrove Road, TA1 1DN, or through Paypal by clicking on the link below.  (Paypal deduct a commission from any donations)

Barrie Hall Wins; Another By-election Success

Liberal Democrats across the Somerset West and Taunton Council area are celebrating after a third by-election win in less than three months. 

Teacher Barrie Hall is the latest to join the Liberal Democrat administration on the Council after winning the North Curry & Ruishton by-election [24/06/21] with 798 votes compared to 678 for the Conservatives and 133 for the Greens. 

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Somerset West and Taunton secures Future High Streets funding

Somerset West and Taunton have been awarded just under £14m to help deliver their ambitious proposals to transform our high streets into vibrant hubs for future generations.

Confirmation of the funding was made on Tuesday 19th May 2021 and comes from hard work by council staff and Liberal Democrat councillors. 

The award of £13.9m from the Future High Streets Fund will be used for Active Travel links in Taunton town centre including cycle and pedestrian improvements, as well as contributing towards to the redevelopment of Coal Orchard and Firepool.

The award includes a specific allocation towards an outdoor performance space (amphitheatre) at Firepool which is part of the original public realm design for the site, and is in addition to the multi-purpose venue proposal that is subject to ongoing feasibility studies and discussion.

The Council has been working with the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government to review and prioritise the projects after the provisional offer was made representing 69% of the original bid for £20.2m of funding.

Leader of SWT, Cllr Federica Smith-Roberts (pictured at Firepool), said: “I am delighted that we have secured this funding which represents a real opportunity to enhance our retail environment and realise our aspirations for growth, creating a place where people want to live, work and shop.

“The award will enable the delivery of our ambitious regeneration plans, helping to protect and create jobs, and deliver opportunities and prosperity to our communities.”

By-election Victory in Trull, Pitminster and Corfe

Dawn Johnson has won the Somerset West and Taunton by-election in Trull, Pitminster and Corfe [06/05/21] for the Lib Dems  by 781 votes to the Conservatives’ 583 votes.


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  1. Following the recent annual meeting of the ruling Lib Dem Group on Somerset West and Taunton Council, the re-elected Leader Cllr Federica Smith-Roberts has announced the new team the Group intends to propose to Full Council [4th May] for the year ahead. 

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The Government's announcement of a 1% pay rise for NHS staff is pitiful given all that the NHS has done during the pandemic.

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