Somerset Districts back their own proposals
Last night a series of meetings of the four Somerset District Councils were held. There was one main item of business on the agenda. The four Districts have prepared a business case to create two unitary authorities. Last night the district councillors were asked to vote on….their own proposals. A press release boasts proudly that “At Thursday’s Full Council meetings, councillors voted 149 in favour and 24 against across all four Districts to submit the full proposal to central government, with support drawn from across the political spectrum.” Hardly a big surprise. It would have been astonishing if they had voted against their own proposals.
So we now have a situation where Somerset County Council have voted for their own “One Somerset” proposal. And now the Districts have voted for theirs. So it is now over to the Secretary of State to decide where things go from here.
Meanwhile the insults fly. A letter from SCC to South Somerset District Council complained that once again presentations by SSDC had insulted the work of social services staff at SCC. Not very bright when you think about it. After all some of those staff if not most of them will be needed by Stronger Somerset if their bid wins. Perhaps this simply reflects an ignorance among the Stronger Somerset team of TUPE rules?
And the one MP who has come out in favour of the Stronger Somerset proposals, was also making colourful views known. It was Ian Liddell Grainger, MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset. He has strong views on SCC and the Leader of SCC, David Fothergill. We are sad to report that he has once again used the cover of Parliamentary privilege to make libellous remarks. By all means have a difference of opinion. By all means use colourful language. But we suggest if you don’t have the guts to say it outside Parliament, the remarks can hardly be taken seriously.
But let us end on a lighter note. The MP for Bridgwater’s near notorious ignorance of British history. In a speech last night he asked “Does my right hon. Friend remember—I am sure he does—that it was King Alfred who passed the law for everyone to take a break from Christmas day until twelfth night and then resume the defence of our borders with added vigour?“
Does the MP for Bridgwater remember, that King Alfred and his army were nearly wiped out at Chippenham? Why? Because the Vikings attacked during that very Christmas break before 12th night. As a direct result of which Alfred is said to have instituted a standing army. The whole point being to ensure there was never a point when the Kingdom would be undefended. So basically, the complete opposite of everything Mr Liddell Grainger said!