OH dear! Does this front page of the County Gazette really help Taunton engage with the 21st Century?

What we need are competent and able council candidates. Who is going to put their names forward for this sort of character assassination and columns of criticism in Postbag?

We are all guilty of not listening on occasion. Our prejudices are such a comfort blanket.

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In 1995 I moved, with the support of fellow councillors, that the council recognise in planning terms the differences between urban, suburban and rural housing design. This was ignored then but is now our most important challenge.

How do we create homes, a sense of place and a sense of belonging? Not only buildings and design but also layout are hugely important.

A glass arcade over the High Street is a whizzy idea, but how relevant is it to a rural county garden town with a shrinking retail footprint, footfall and a paucity of residents in the centre?

Towns are there for socialising and it is people who keep it alive, particularly after 5.30pm.

The urgent need is to design and build as many dwellings as possible within the available urban space to increase the urban population to a viable size.

Poundbury is well worth a visit just for its valuable little design features.

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We do need to look around us and further afield for good ideas and even to Paris for its “promenade plantê”.

This could be interpreted in Taunton through a garden walk from Vivary Park gates down to the Tone. It could also be the start of an “urban arboretum” to complement the proposed tree belt beyond Staplegrove and the actual West Monkton community woodlands (30 years in gestation).

Nice thinking and work on one councillor’s part!

What we need to do is stop this petty personality and party politicking – it gets us nowhere and risks losing us our future.


Kingston St Mary