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Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger

Liddell-Grainger backs referendum and says Government consultation ‘made a joke of democracy’

IAN Liddell-Grainger attacked the Government’s consultation on local government reform during a debate on the Queen’s Speech in Parliament last night.

And the Conservative MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset applauded Somerset’s district councils for launching a referendum which begins next Tuesday.

He said: “The Secretary of State for Local Government has intervened to try and stop Somerset’s four district councils holding a referendum.

“In Somerset, we’re very much in favour of democracy. But the county council doesn’t want to ask the people. It much prefers telling them.

“The referendum already has positive support from hundreds of district councillors of every political persuasion.

“My Rt Hon friend offered the people an online questionnaire to fill in. There were no checks to ensure that only Somerset people took part.

“It was a shallow, trivial exercise that made a joke of democracy – if you treat voters like that, they are liable to turn on you.

“Somerset may look true blue now, but Somerset people deserve fair play and will punish those who deprive them.”


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