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New Council Leadership

Some of the Liberal Democrats new councillors and their supporters shortly after finding our they had taken overall control of the new council, including new leader Federica Smith (front row, third from left)

Following one of the best results for the Liberal Democrats in England last Thursday, the party's 30 newly elected councillors in Somerset West and Taunton have chosen a new Leader, Federica Smith-Roberts.

Federica said “The voters demanded better after a decade of stagnation and they have got it. The Liberal Democrats offered a positive Manifesto for change and the people voted for it. Now we will work with councillors of all parties and Independents to meet the crises facing the new council. We must confront the climate emergency, acting locally while thinking globally, working with the county council to offer residents better public transport and cleaner air, encouraging electric cars, building on the cross-party agreement to make our council carbon neutral.

“Years of mismanagement and the shambles of the merger between the two councils has resulted in a huge cut in services and staff numbers. We know that basic customer services and communications need drastic improvement. The public come first and  we will do our best to address all the concerns you have told us about during the election campaign. We ask for your patience, as we cannot do everything at once.

“I would like to pay tribute to Simon Coles, who has led the Liberal Democrat group for many years and worked so hard to build up a winning team with the right policies. I will rely heavily on Simon's wise advice and help as we begin our stewardship of the council. I would also like to thank John Williams, the outgoing Conservative Leader of Taunton Deane Council, for his long years of service to the community.” 

Gideon Amos, the Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate for Taunton Deane, added “Our local campaigns to save Norton Manor Camp, reverse school cuts and to better support our town centres showed that the Lib Dems can win on issues that people care about. With a new team on the Council and a great leader in Federica, I know from working alongside all of them that they are determined to work closely with the local community to tackle head on the challenges of the local economy and climate change – let's all work together to make real achievements happen.”

 

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