AT the time of writing I have just been up all night following the council elections. Another tumultuous moment in our political history. There have been many since my election in 2015.

Firstly, congratulations to all those who were elected. Anyone who puts themselves forward to serve in public office should be commended. We rely on people getting involved in running our local areas and we are the stronger for the involvement of those bringing diverse experience to the table.

As your MP, I look forward to working with the raft of new councillors from across the political spectrum setting out in this new era for the recently formed Somerset West and Taunton Council.

I had a close working relationship with the previous administration, working constructively in many areas not least securing funding for infrastructure including Trenchard Way, Tone Way, the Stapelgrove spine road, expansion of Junction 25, the exciting upgrade of Taunton Rail Station as well as attracting the Garden Town designation.

Also, heartfelt condolences and thanks to those who were unsuccessful in this election and who, in many cases have devoted years to working for the good of the local area with the best of intentions. Not least, Leader of Taunton Deane Council John Williams, whose selfless dedication and quiet determination has delivered so much for decades. And thanks must also go to those who were standing for the first time. It takes much courage to put oneself forward and whatever the outcome it is the taking part in community life that is so important.

Finally after many happy years at Magdalene Street, my constituency office has moved to a new office hub established in The Great Western Hotel on Station Approach which is a YMCA Somerset Coast initiative. The business model, in which the building has been restored, hotel space created and a café established, aims to train, inspire and support young people into employment and is based on two other successful developments in Somerset: the Beach Hotel in Minehead and Barley Wood Country House in Wrington.

As ever please do get in touch if I can help you in any way at: The Great Western Hotel, Station Approach, Taunton TA1 1QW or via


MP for Taunton Deane