I AM disappointed that, despite public opposition, Taunton Deane Borough Council and West Somerset District Council are pushing ahead with their misguided merger.

We have one more chance to put a stop to this by appealing to the government department who have to approve it and would encourage your readers to do so.

They can both sign the Liberal Democrats petition and find a link to the Department for Communities and Local Government website to contact them directly.

I have already done so and have told the Minister that he has a responsibility to stop a merger that is going to make a council with a divided focus and a less accountable to its voters.

TDBC centres on a county town of around 65,000 people and villages which are within very close reach of the town. West Somerset District Council is far more rural, much geographically larger, despite the smaller population and the largest town within it is Minehead, a town of around 12,000 that, nonetheless, is a large distance from many people in West Somerset Council area.

It seems to me that these two councils are of a different nature with different needs and to put them into one district council will be to the benefit of neither.

In West Somerset, the support is short-sighted financial need, in Taunton Deane it is gerrymandering by a Conservative council group who have looked at voting patterns and believe merging with West Somerset will keep them in power for the foreseeable future without contest.

It is not in the benefit of the people of Taunton or West Somerset and is exactly what his (Minister Sajid Javid) department's oversight is meant to stop.

I hope we can rely on him to do this but the more of us write to him the better chance we have.