LAST week, Liberal Democrats on Somerset County Council proposed a motion to persuade the Government to keep 40 Commando Royal Marines in Taunton Deane.

We could have included that Gideon Amos, the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesman for Taunton Deane, began the campaign over two years ago and made all the running liaising with the many service people, families and businesses who want the Camp saved.

READ MORE: Political parties clash over motion on Marines

We could even have reminded people that the Conservative MP elected last time is on the record (in this newspaper*) supporting the closure, saying it will achieve “savings of a more streamlined and cost effective defence estate”, is “sensible in the long-term” and defending the Conservative minister’s proposals.

We didn't put any of this, nor mention of any political party into the Motion because we recognise this issue should transcend party politics and be supported by all councillors, to ensure that the Government Minister recognises that we all want the Marines to stay.

Sadly, the Conservatives decided to change our non-political Motion into a shoddy piece of party-political spin for the Conservative MP by adding words to credit her with all the work done by Gideon.

We don’t know whether she is still supporting the closure or not, but at a time when the public want to see politicians of all parties working together to heal our fractured nation, it is so sad that the Conservatives chose to play political games with a cause that we can all get behind in Taunton Deane, to support our local economy and our historic links with the Royal Marines.

Let us hope that the Conservatives won't try a similar trick when the same Motion of support for the Marines is debated at Taunton Deane Council.


Member for Taunton East

Somerset County Council