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Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger

Unitary authority decision shows contempt for democratic process, says MP

IAN Liddell-Grainger has torn into the Government following the announcement that Somerset will become a unitary authority under the ‘One Somerset’ model.

The Conservative MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset said in a statement: “Last night, in a clumsy and incomplete written announcement, the Secretary of State, Robert Jenrick, insulted the intelligence of 72,561 voters who supported Stronger Somerset in the recent referendum.

“In doing so he has laid bare his contempt for the democratic process and left a litter of question marks over the future of local government.

“This is not the end of the story. It may turn out to be the beginning of a bitter war which could easily end up in the law courts and may unravel the entire unitary plan for this county.

“The logic of his decision is bizarre and open to serious challenge.

“He claims that both schemes show a good level of public support. But the evidence for One Somerset’s support is still missing because the government have not published their own pathetic survey results in proper detail – despite all promises that they would.

“So, Mr Jenrick, you have declared war on the people of Somerset. But we dig in down here. We disapprove of bullies and we have a habit of winning through.”

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