Conservatives announce exciting plans for Somerset West and Taunton
Housing Minister Kit Malthouse has given his backing to local Conservatives after they announced exciting plans for Somerset West and Taunton over the next four years.
Mr Malthouse helped to launch the Conservatives’ manifesto ahead of the first ever elections for the newly-formed council on Thursday 2 May.
The manifesto includes 26 pledges to create a “stronger, brighter future for all our communities”, with a focus on protecting the environment.
There are pledges to invest more in street cleaning, boost doorstep recycling, generate clean energy from waste, introduce electric charging points in key locations, expand The Somerset Wood and Maidenbrook Country Park, encourage tree planting and protect green spaces and the special qualities of Exmoor, the Quantock Hills and the Blackdown Hills.
In Taunton, the Conservatives have pledged to progress plans for a multi-use convention centre and digital and geospatial innovation centre at Firepool, expand the Brewhouse Theatre and Liseux Way science park, improve traffic flow around the upgraded Junction 25 of the M5 and boost links to Bristol Airport.
Elsewhere, they will step up work to reopen Wellington Railway Station, explore the potential for a new public swimming pool in Minehead and look at further ways to exploit the benefits of Hinkley Point C.
More generally, the Conservatives have vowed to deliver more affordable and social housing, improve town centres, look at plans for free parking at certain times of the day, increase opportunities for businesses and jobs, enhance broadband and mobile phone coverage and boost tourism.
“The Conservatives have an excellent track record of delivering for local people over recent years and have outlined a clear plan for the future,” said Mr Malthouse, who visited a new development of council and social houses in Taunton alongside MP Rebecca Pow and a host of councillors, candidates and supporters.
“I fully support the team’s plans to protect the environment, provide more affordable and social housing and deliver a host of projects to boost the local economy, among other things, which mirror the government’s commitment to building a country that works for everyone.
“I hope local people recognise the successes of the past and commitments for the future and turn out to vote for Conservative councillors on Thursday 2 May.”
Cllr Mark Edwards, who helped to write the 20-page manifesto, said: “The Conservatives have achieved a great deal while running Taunton Deane and West Somerset over the past four years – providing quality public services while delivering significant savings and keeping council tax as low as possible.
“We have secured funding for and are pushing forward a host of major projects, including garden town status, the Nexus 25 business park, the multi-million-pound upgrades of Junction 25 of the M5 and Taunton Railway Station, the new police station and, as confirmed just last week, the regeneration of Watchet Harbour.
“This is on top of measures to regenerate key sites and improve parking in Taunton, creating new public green spaces, introducing town centre wi-fi in Taunton, Wellington and Wiveliscombe, building over 200 affordable homes a year for local families and our work to maximise the opportunities of Hinkley Point C for residents.”
Cllr John Williams and Cllr Anthony Trollope-Bellew, the leaders of the outgoing Taunton Deane and West Somerset councils, said: “We are proud of our record and are determined to make Somerset West and Taunton an even better place in which to live and work.
“This manifesto, with the environment at its heart, builds on our achievements and the close working of the two councils in recent years, which has enabled us to make significant savings and put those funds directly into frontline services.
“Only the Conservatives can be trusted to keep council tax as low as possible, manage your money wisely and provide quality services to local residents.”
Click here to see the Conservatives’ manifesto for Somerset West and Taunton.
Housing Minister Kit Malthouse and local MP Rebecca Pow (front, centre) help to launch the Conservatives’ manifesto for the Somerset West and Taunton Council elections.
For more information about this press release, call Jim Bray, South West regional press officer for the Conservative Party (Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays), on 07867 162240 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org .