THE success of Project Taunton is very important to the future of the town.

I am pleased that, at last, work has started on the former livestock market site. The credit crunch came at a very bad time, but Project Taunton now seems to be back on track.

I have stayed in close contact with the people responsible for this development, and have also held meetings with Government officials in London about the possibility of relocating public sector jobs to the new Project Taunton site.

There are two main reasons why I regard the completion of this project as being hugely beneficial.

Firstly, it will make a positive difference to the appearance of Taunton. At the moment, people arrive at the train station and look out over a wasteground. Following the upgrading of the County Ground, the development of Firepool will transform a major part of Taunton, with offices, residential accommodation and shops.

And secondly, Taunton Deane needs to attract new jobs and additional investment. I want local residents to have extra opportunities to find rewarding employment and improve their career prospects.

There is still a long way to go until Project Taunton is completed, but a start has been made, and it is an exciting step forward for the town.