PROSPECTIVE Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow has apologised after mistakenly calling Wiveliscombe a village.

The Conservative candidate made the error in her latest newsletter, delivered to thousands of doors in the area ahead of next year’s general election.

Ms Pow said some people had contacted her to point it out and does not doubt the strength of pride the town has.

She said: “I would like to apologise wholeheartedly to the people of Wiveliscombe for mistaking their charming community for a village when it is in fact a town.

“It has to be said that determining when a town is a town or a city is a city is a slightly fine line but the town’s charter reflects its historical importance to our community.

“I am extremely local, having lived in Taunton Deane for 27 years and have been to Wiveliscombe many times. I will continue to pop in to Wiveliscombe to see friends who live in and around the town.”

One resident, Win Adams, of Spring Gardens, contacted the County Gazette to point out the mistake.

She said: “Some elderly residents are angry she has called Wiveliscombe a village.

“Wiveliscombe is a town. We even have a town hall but we admit it is rarely used at present. Ms Pow appears to want our vote but knows so little about our lovely little town.”

Wivey is one of only three towns in the Taunton Deane district, alongside Taunton and Wellington. The town hall, in The Square above the Co-op, has been unused for more than 50 years but people still take pride in being a town.

Wivey also has a town council, which sits once a month in the primary school.

Another resident, Ian Fudge, said: “The issue has been a bone of contention for many years but it doesn’t matter. We think of it as ‘our town’.

“We are a great community with plenty of spirit.”

Ms Pow is running for the Conservatives in next year’s general election to be the MP of Taunton Deane, a position currently held by LibDem Jeremy Browne.

When is a town a town?

A town traditionally was a settlement which had a charter to hold a market or fair, becoming a market town.

Market towns were distinguished from villages in that they were the economic hub of a surrounding area, and were usually larger and had more facilities.

It does not always depend on population size but there are many technical and official definitions of what constitutes a town.

When is a city a city?

City status is usually given to places that have Letters Patent (a document issued by the monarchy), historically associated with the possession of a cathedral.

Some settlements can still be granted city status even without a cathedral, as happened with Sunderland in 1992 on the 40th anniversary of the Queen’s accession.

Source: Wikipedia