Somerset MP says Taunton is like a war-torn Syrian city!

Does a constituency REALLY get the MP it deserves? Well ….

“One is an English county town with an eighth-century castle, pleasant high street and national park right on its doorstep. The other is a Syrian city left in almost complete ruins after eight years of brutal civil war.

But these distinctions appear to have failed to register with the MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset, who chose to liken Taunton to Aleppo during a House of Commons debate on Thursday.

Ian Liddell-Grainger, whose own constituency neighbours the town, was attempting to draw attention to its boarded-up shops during a discussion about the high street.

The Tory said: “Exeter city has just brought out an excellent report looking 20 years ahead for the security and the growth of their city centre. Across the border, my county town Taunton is more like Aleppo than anything else.”

It is understood Mr Liddell-Grainger has never visited Syria’s second city but a quick perusal of pictures could have shown him it bears very little resemblance to the ancient Somerset town. …”

One thought on “Somerset MP says Taunton is like a war-torn Syrian city!

  1. Having just moved from Devon to the West Midlands, I doubt very much that Taunton is even remotely approaching Walsall as an example of deprivation (and even Walsall is not yet like Aleppo).

    Devon may have a few closed shops, but in Walsall even the charity shops are mostly closed up. I haven’t gone around and counted the number of closed shops, but my guess is that more than half are empty and shuttered. There still seem to be a full collection of banks still open – though now full of machines and few staff – but if you take those and coffee shops out of the count, the number of open shops is probably only a third of the total. The last time I lived here 10 years ago, the shopping centre with Debenhams in it used to be full and thriving, but Debenhams is now the only shop now open in that entire shopping centre (until they too go bust at least). Even the street markets are shadows of their former selves with about a quarter of the number of stalls they previously had.

    Are the more affluent areas like Devon and Somerset going to end up the same way? Or are people going to demand that the government stops helping the decline and starts to act in order to save our high streets and communities?


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