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News and Events in Taunton Deane

25th January 2016


Taunton Deane is once again looking to recognise those unsung local hero's in the borough abd asking for nominations from the public help help give them the recognition that they richly deserve.

People can make a nomination for an award which is designed to publicly acknowledge outstanding voluntary service in Taunton Deane. Previous nominations have ranged from people who have been “good neighbours” in all sorts of ways to organisations that contribute hugely to the quality of local life.

The rules for the Citizenship Awards are very simple: nominees have to live in the Borough of Taunton Deane, cannot have been recognised in the past for their services and must not earn their nomination from service given through their trade or profession.  Nominations will be accepted for individuals and voluntary groups that make a real difference to the community.

The Council expects to make three Citizenship awards again this year – but please note, it is important that nominees should not be informed of their nomination at this stage.

The closing date for nominations this year is Friday 4 March and any nominations received after this date will not be considered.  The awards ceremony is due to take place in late April.

If you would like a nomination form, please write to Jo Comer, Civic Officer, Mayor’s Parlour, The Deane House, Belvedere Road, Taunton TA1 1HE or email

10th May 2015

A message from John Williams

Taunton Deane BC 2015 Election Results

The uncertainty of the election has now passed and I am delighted but humbled that you, as the community we serve, have delivered such a positive and resounding vote of confidence in our administration. We have always been positive setting out the work and development we have achieved coupled with the planning and investment for the future as set out in our manifesto. It is an exciting programme to take us forward but guiding us will be the overriding aim to maintain the front line services that we already deliver but in doing so ensure more efficient delivery as we continue doing “more for less.”

Thanks to you, we now have a clear mandate to deliver what is best for Taunton Deane but in having that mandate we must ensure we listen to all and deliver what is possible within the resources available. Our top priority must be ensuring economic development continues so we have the resources to deliver the roads, schools and infrastructure needed to support the housing growth needed.

Despite the huge national deficit, we have been successful in securing funds for major investment in our roads, the A358, the upgrade of junction 25 and the very important revamp of the railway station. We must now hold central government to account to ensure these and other important projects are delivered. I have a great team around me and we are all truly committed to ensuring delivery. We are very conscious that our infrastructure must keep pace with our housing growth, on the doorstep recently that is the message we received loud and clear.

Cllr John Williams
Leader, Taunton Deane BC

09th May 2015


The results have all been announced and Conservative Councillors are now the largest party on Taunton Deane and take control of the council.

The Results are as follows

The Labour Party - 2 seats (-1)
The Conservative Party - 36 seats (+8)
Liberal Democrat - 14 seats (-9)
Independent - 3 seats (+1)
U.K. Independence Party - 1 seat (+1)

Please go to our Councillors page for to find which Conservative councillor is representing you.

08th May 205


We would very much like to offer our most sincere congratulation to Rebecca Pow whom, by a majority of over 15,000, became Taunton Deane's new MP early this morning.

A huge well done to her and her team who have worked so hard and presented such a positive campaign.

09th April 2015


The Halcon One Team was created two years, being pulled together by the local Police and the Conservative run Borough Council, to improve lives and keep vulnerable children and adults safe.

Conservative Councillor Jane Warmington the Executive Member for Community Services speaking about the Halcon One project said, “Working together has many advantages both for families, staff and the wider community.  Staff working in the community from the many different agencies meet three times weekly as one coordinated team to talk in confidence, share and collate this information meaning a much better understanding of the issues and what can be done to make a difference by setting actions to solve some problems quickly.  Helping early on prevents problems getting worse and offering practical solutions lightens the load”.

See more of this story on our NEWS page

28th March 2015


The Conservative administration that presently run Taunton Deane Borough Council are extremely keen to finish the work they have started over the last four years. They have continued to be positive throughout a difficult period and continued planning and investing for the future and with perseverance and determination it has proved that it is possible to succeed in challenging times.Local Conservatives Unlock Growth

Councillor John Williams The Leader of the Council said, “Despite having suffered a budget cut of many millions over the last five years we have invested in town centre schemes such as Goodland Gardens and Castle Green, Tangier Way has been constructed, the Northern Inner Distributor Road is now well under construction releasing that all important site of Firepool, which is moving to a significant stage, and in addition we have been awarded a massive £4.6million for upgrading and redeveloping the railway station.

“We now also seeing the vital investment from the Government for the key road improvements of the A358, Junction 25 and Toneway which we have been lobbying for over a number of years which will bring a great deal of economic development to the area including thousands of new jobs”.

Deputy Leader Councillor Mark Edwards said, “The Conservative team are continuing to work hard and speak loudly for Taunton Deane across Government and using all opportunities to do so and it is clearly starting to pay off. We have proved the rule positive attitude, positive outcomes and we hope to have the opportunity to continue to do so after May”.

24th March 2015


The Conservative Group on Taunton Deane Borough Council are pledging to introduce Variable Message Signage for the main car parks in Taunton to direct drivers to the available car parks, this will help with congestion and direct traffic to the most appropriate car park with spaces available depending on which direction they approach Taunton.

Electronic Parking SignIt has been a long-term aim of the Conservatives to introduce this service but until they had confirmation on some of the major infrastructure projects it was not sensible to progress. They now ready to make this happen as these projects are either under construction or completed.

In addition they are proposing to introduce pay on exit for the main car parks potentially using brand new vehicle recognition technology so that shoppers can stay as long as they like and only pay for the time used as they leave, its good for shoppers and local retailers.

Councillor Mark Edwards, Deputy Leader of the Conservative run Council said, “ We have been actively working to bring these proposals forward. We have been working hard to progress the required infrastructure and with the delivery of the Northern Inner Distributor road and the opening up of Firepool we can now start to make sure we get these plans progressed. It is a very positive time in Taunton Deane and we hope we can continue to deliver the plans we have developed”.

20th March 2015


Conservative Councillor Catherine Herbert spent many years battling to get the original playground at Killams re-opened and was very disappointed that the developer land-owner refused to work with her.

Catherine then worked with the council to get agreement that an area in Killams Woods could be used to build a new playground. She then managed to secure monies from a local development and a grant from the un-parished fund. She then searched out a brand new playframe which she managed to Catherine and Terry with the play equipmentsource with an exceptional discount and had the playground built.

Catherine said, “ Not only did I secure the site and the find the funding I shopped very carefully and snapped up a bargain at half price too! It has been lovely to see the youngsters using the new equipment and I am working to further improve play provision in our area. It was very dissapointing that the developers allowed the exiting play area to become redundant and made no effort to assist I am however delighted to have secure the site and the new playground”

Councillor Mark Edwards Deputy Leader of the Conservative group said, “Catherine has proved yet again that positive action produces positive outcomes, she is typical of the Conservative team that run the Council and I commend her efforts.”

Picture Conservative Councillor Catherine Herbert and local Conservative spokesman Terry Beale at the playground in Killams

07th March 2015


Local Conservative Councillors have grasped the opportunity to build the first council houses in Taunton Deane for over twenty years and also substantially increase the number of affordable homes for the whole community.

The Conservative run Council has managed to replace 46 outdated and inefficient homes at Creechbarrow Road with a mix of 60 new Council homes and 32 housing association homes for affordable rent on the same site.

Creechbarrow Housing DevelopementThe £12 million pound project brings a significant improvement in range of homes from one bed to family homes the design will be sustainable to minimise energy consumption so providing a comfortable home at minimum running cost for the benefit of residents. The site design incorporates play areas and open space so creating a great environment for residents.

The changes brought in by Central Government to allow new Council house building has been well and truly grasped by the Conservative council as 4 homes in Bacon Drive have already been completed and handed over as have 7 in West Bagborough and 8 in Normandy Drive scheduled for completion in April.

In addition to this a further 26 new Council houses are planned at Rockwell Green so in total one hundred and five new Council houses are in process of construction or about to start. To support this into the future we have included in our budget for the coming year £1 million per year for 5 years specifically to add to our Council housing stock as we recognise the desperate need in our community with around 3,000 families registered on our housing waiting list.

In addition the Conservative run Council have had huge success in the building of new Affordable homes with over two hundred being built annually over the last few years.

The Secretary of State Eric Pickles recently visited the Creechbarrow site with Rebecca Pow, Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Taunton Deane and they were  delighted to hear the achievements of the Conservative run council over the last four years.

Councillor Mark Edwards Deputy Leader of the Conservative run Council said, “This is a massive achievement, in a few short years we have really grasped the opportunity to build new Council houses and have worked hard with the various bodies and businesses to make sure affordable homes are built. We have achieved more in these four years than any other administration in a generation and we are massively proud of that achievement.”

“This is a long term programme and we are intent on finding ways of building more affordable and Council owned properties if we secure the council again in May”.

12th February 2015



The Conservatives have been at the forefront of a joint management and shared services project called “One Team”, with our neighbour, West Somerset District Council. This has achieved substantial savings for Council Tax payers of more than £1million in the past year and, critically, helped to protect frontline services valued by the community and help us to propose a freeze in Council tax in our budget.

The Conservatives are now working on proposals for a public sector hub at County Hall, which will save the Council Tax payers further money, improve services and introduce key improvements using technology to assist in the way the community can engage with the Council.

Cabinet Minister Francis Maude recently visited Taunton to hear the plans and was extremely supportive of our aims and indicated on-going support from the Government after the next election.

Conservative Leader of the Council, Councillor John Williams said, “We have been committed to reducing costs, improving efficiencies but protecting front-line services. We are achieving this and are determined to continue this work. We want to see Taunton Deane Borough Council a national leader in Local Government delivery, embracing the principles of being a 21st Century Council.”


15th December 2014


Taunton Deane is once again offering free parking between 3pm and 6pm in High Street and Orchard multi-storeys, The Crescent, Canon Street and Coal Orchard car parks on December 20th and 27th.

Cllr Mark Edwards, Deputy Leader of the Council is responsible for parking and transport and said the Council is determined to do what it can to help retailers and other businesses.

“I am a very enthusiastic supporter of this initiative, we want to do what we can, in a practical way, to help the many different businesses that trade in Taunton from specialist retailers and national chains and the many and varied restaurants and cafes,” he said.

“Taunton has a great deal to offer and I certainly hope that this will encourage more visitors to the town and also encourage those that are already there to stay a little longer.”

People are also reminding people that if they plan to use its car parks outside the Free After 3 offer, they can use the hassle-free RingGo cashless payment system.

27th October 2014


The Conservative Leader of Taunton Deane Borough Council, Councillor John Williams has written to Theresa May MP, the Home Secretary highlighting the communities concerns over the prevalence, availability and affordability of legal highs within the town.

Councillor Williams said, “We have been investigating the various powers to see what we can do to stem the availability of these legal highs, in particular through local shops that are openly and irresponsibly selling these substances and hiding behind the fact they can sell them, providing it is labelled “not for human consumption”, although they clearly are selling it only for that use.”

“I have written to the Home Secretary highlighting our concerns in the strongest terms asking for us to be assisted in finding a solution to the scourge to our community and nationally. I have requested the current legislation be urgently reviewed of current legislation to banning of these noxious products as we understand they have in Ireland and New Zealand”.

Councillor Mark Edwards said, “ Enough is enough we are fully aware of what is happening, this has been going on for sometime but in recent months has proliferated to the point that the substances are not only being openly purchased in our town and online they are then also being openly used and is becoming a major issue for our whole community and many other towns across the country.”

22nd OCTOBER 2014


Conservative Councillor Cliff Bishop was tonight awarded the Freedom of the Borough at a special council meeting help in the ward he represents at Oake Mamor Golf Club.

Cliff's service in local government began 50 years ago after being elected to Oake parish council and Wellington Rural District Council. When local government was reorganised in 1973-74 he was elected to Taunton Deane Borough Council. At 90 years old he still sits on the planning committee as well as corporate scrutiny, the Project Taunton Steering Group and Local development Framework steering group.

Cllr Bishop, who attended the ceremony with his wife Bettie, said: “I am deeply honoured by being admitted as a Freeman of Taunton. I would like to thank everyone sincerely – I am overwhelmed.”

Cllr Edwards, who is also Deputy Leader of the council, said: “Cllr Bishop has been more than a fellow Councillor to me - more of a mentor. His understanding of planning and planning policy has been invaluable. 

27th September 2014


Youth Shelter at Skate ParkWellington Conservative Councillors Vivienne Stock-Williams and Janet Reed were concerned when they noticed that the ”Blues” skate park beside Wellington Sports Centre was rarely used.  The Councillors consulted local youngsters and learnt that they were choosing to travel to neighbouring towns where there were more challenging and enjoyable skate parks.

The Conservative Councillors decided to take action to improve the facilities.  They tracked down some available Section 106 money that could be used to improve this type of facility and enlisted the help of TDBC officers to carry out a half term consultation on what the youngsters would like the skate park to offer.   The exciting work of transforming the skate park then took place including a brand new all weather shelter.  Since its opening the larger, more challenging skate park has proved immensely popular.

They proved yet again that positive action produces positive outcomes.

19th September 2014


The Conservative run administration at Taunton Deane Borough Council has gained funding to improve the connectivity between the Railway Station and the Norther Inner Distributor Road( NIDR).

The funding of £150,000 is just another example of the positive actions being taken by the administration in making sure that the whole project of Taunton Railway Station, the NIDR and the NIDR - John Williams and Rebecca Powregeneration of Firepool become a reality. These funds are also an indicator from Government on the importance of Taunton Deane to the Hinkley Point C project .

Councillor John Williams has been lobbying hard and said, " It is yet another example of the can do attitude of our administration that we are determined to make things happen in Taunton Deane for the benefit of the whole community. The NIDR was a vital step forward and now with the investment in the Railway Station as well and plans being developed for Firepool there are exciting times ahead".

Picture: Councillor John Williams showing Rebecca Pow the Conservatives Prospective Parliamentary Candidate the work on the NIDR.

1st September 2014


Councillor and Executive member Catherine Herbert was joined by Taunton in Bloom co-ordinator Shaun Cregan to do a little Guerilla Gardening in Bath Place.

Guerilla Gardeners PictureAppreciating the recent efforts of the Bath Place traders regarding litter Catherine wanted to help improve the area by planting up an untidy area that usually attracts rubbish and had previously been an eyesore.

Cllr Herbert was joined by Taunton in Bloom co-ordinator Shaun Cregan and their efforts were greatly appreciated by local traders.

Earlier this month Cllr Herbert and Cllr Jane Warmington lead a group of “guerrilla cleaners” to scrub the grime from the Town Bridge in the heart of Taunton.

20th August 2014


Taunton Deane councillors have agreed to consider the County Hall option as a possible location for council staff in the future.

At a meeting of full Council last night Conservative Councillors, with some support from the minor parties, voted to continue to look at a move to County Hall as a preferred option for the future offices of Taunton Deane Borough Council.

The option will be looked at in detail to be sure that the council get best value for money and so no final decision has been made yet about a relocation,

The option looks likely to save the council as much as £100,000 a year on its normal running costs. The existing council offices could be rented or sold and any funds used to generate an income for the council either through rent or by the acquisition of another income generating asset.

14th August 2014


The planned new Swimming Pool and Spa has now received planning permission and the development of the new pool can now start early in the new year.

The Conservative administration had pledged the building of the new pool as a key manifesto pledge in the 2011 election and are delighted to have succeeded in getting the project to this key stage.

The decision came about as it was clear that the Swimming Pool at St James St was likely to come to the end of its life very soon and whilst we had secured funding to update the Station Road Pool we still needed the extra capacity for the many schools and clubs that exist within the District.

Councillor Catherine Herbert the Conservative Executive member responsible for Parks and Leisure said,

" I am delighted, we really can now move on to the next stage and start to ensure we deliver the first class leisure provision to complement the planned growth in our town. It is an ideal site next to the existing Blackbrook Leisure Centre and makes a great deal of sense on so many levels. We have also invested in Wellington and the Station Road Pool as well so the whole of Taunton Deane is benefiting from this investment in a healthier lifestyle. There are not many districts investing in new Swimming facilities so we are delighted to have been able to achieve this.

5th August 2014


Conservative Councillors Jane Warmington and Catherine Herbert recently decided that rather than just talking about the clean up of Taunton's iconic river Bridge they would deal with it themselves. They gathered together a group of volunteers and early on the 3rd August they set about cleaning the Bridge which had not been cleaned for a number of years.

Cllrs Jane Warmington and Catherine HerbertCllr Warmington said, " It was such a fantastic exercise and it was great to see so many people pull together to make a real difference, it was one of the most engaging things I have ever done so many people wanted to talk to us and congratulate us on what we were doing".

Cllr Herbert said, "The town bridge is such an important landmark and we felt it needed a clean up so rather than talking we got into action. It is so gratifying to see the result and we have been delighted by the positive comments from everyone.

The Conservative Deputy Leader of the Council Mark Edwards said, " I was taken aback when I realised what they were doing, rather than talking about what needed to be done they were getting on with it and I am really grateful to them for their efforts and also very proud to have them on our team of Conservative Councillors, their can do attitude is fantastic."

29th July 2014


Green Flag Award LogoVivary, and French Weir Parks in Taunton, Wellington Park and Swains Lane Nature Reserve in Wellington are going to receive the Green Flag Award, a sign to visitors that the parks are well-maintained and well-managed, with excellent facilities. 

Green Flags are awarded each year to the well managed parks and open spaces and Taunton Deanes have consistantly featured in the lists

7th July 2014


The hard work and focus of the Conservative Administration at Taunton Deane has really paid off with a Rebecca Pow and John Williams at Taunton Railway Stationmassive £4.6 million investment which came as a result of detailed work and constant lobbying of the LEP and the Department of Transport. 

Councillor Mark Edwards the Deputy Leader and Executive Councillor for Planning and Transport said,

" We have been working long and hard on how we could get this much needed investment, we had the plans we just needed the finance and working with Network Rail, the LEP and the Department of Transport we have secured the funding which will transform a tired but very well used station and make sure it is future proof as we are expecting a massive increase in rail traffic in the coming years."Rebacca Pow and Patrick McLoughlin

The news was welcomed by Prospective Conservative MP for Taunton Deane, Rebecca Pow 

"I have been championing this cause and was delighted that the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin accepted my recent invitation to come to Taunton to see the potential benefits of this project for himself. He was very impressed and I am so pleased that against some other extremely competitive bids this project has been  selected to receive this vital funding. It is a key to the future development of the town and  includes re-orientating the rail station, better passenger facilities, retail opportunities and improved parking. It also paves the way for the long awaited development of the Firepool site.’  

Conservative Leader of Taunton Deane, Cllr John Williams said: 
"I am delighted with this news and determined that it will create a thriving new ‘quarter’ in Taunton, adjacent to the Firepool regeneration site where our plans are also coming together, I am grateful to the Transport Secretary for his input and a huge thanks goes to Rebecca Pow the Conservative Parliamentary candidate who worked extremely hard to keep the development of the Railway Station on the agenda for investment .”


Hello and welcome

John Williams

My name is John Williams and I am the leader of the Conservative group of Councillors on Taunton Deane Borough Council.

This web site exists to help us communicate with the people of Taunton Deane about what we are doing on their behalf and what we plan to do in the future.

We always welcome your questions and opinions either good or bad so don't be afraid to get in contact and let us know what you think. Following the link to our contact page will give you a number of contact options.

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Rebecca Pow