PM says no to Somerset referendum
Yesterday we reported on Ian Liddell Grainger’s calls for a referendum. More allegations ensued about Somerset County Council mis-spending COVID money. However no evidence was provided.
You can almost hear the faint echo of “stolen election” in the background. And we say this without irony. Because it rather seems as if Somerset is unlikely to have a referendum on the future of local government. When pushed to reply to the MP for Bridgwater and west Somerset, this is what the Prime Minister had to say: “I thank my hon. Friend, who is a great advocate of Somerset and is committed to his constituents. I thank him for what he is doing. He has raised this issue twice with me now, and I thank him for that, but may I humbly suggest that the best way forward is for the consultation to proceed and for local people to decide what the best form of local government is that they want?“
A consultation is definitely not what Mr Liddell Grainger wants. But it is still possible that SCC will be asked to hold elections for new councillors this May. SCC has asked for them to be postponed. There is still no decision on that, which is interesting as time is running out. If they do go ahead though, arguably they will provide a referendum of sorts. A chance for the people of Somerset to vote for something.
And if they do, the one party you can pretty much bet that Ian :Liddell Grainger will not be shouting for, is the Conservatives. We’ll have much more on this, but you’ll have to wait for our March edition to read it.