REBECCA Pow has responded after two attacks on Somerset's county town by one of its own MPs.

MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset, Ian Liddell-Grainger, has voiced two disparaging attacks on Parliament over the last few weeks.

The first incident involved Mr Liddell-Grainger comparing Taunton to to the war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo, and the second, brandishing three areas of the town as 'crime ridden ghettos'.

In response, Taunton Deane's MP, Ms Pow, has issued a detailed response, describing how wonderful the town is, while showing concern for how Taunton's Syrian refugees may taken the comments.

She said: "Taunton is a great town in which to live and work, it is my home I should know. The high street was recently named the third healthiest in the UK by the Royal Society of Public Health. Whilst the high street faces challenges this is the case across the country, in fact Taunton has below the national average for closed shops. I’ve been working hard with the local business community to ensure the heart of our town is viable for the future. As part of this, I ran my Best of the High Street Awards to showcase many of our fine independent businesses and I held an event with Jake Berry, the Local Government Minister to meet with local businesses to talk about the future.

"I am encouraging the council and the business community to apply for a share of the £600m High Streets fund in addition to making a case for a Business Investment Development area (BID). There is an opportunity now to rethink Firepool and it’s important to get this right.

"With the Brewhouse development under way, the Coal Orchard plan, the new UK Hydropgraphic office, the country park, Somerset Wood, our new Garden Town Status, new road developments, the station upgrade as well as our outstanding University centre, not to mention the new theatres at Musgrove, the Cricket World Cup coming to the cricket ground as well as Tom Jones and Madness performing at concerts in the park there is a great deal to look forward to and also build upon. I am constantly approached by people who love living in the area and who wouldn’t live anywhere else.

"In addition, the people of Taunton have welcomed refugees from Syria to the town. These refugees, many of whom I have met, have escaped untold trauma and have come to settle in Taunton. Local people have welcomed them with open arms and helped them to settle. To them, Taunton is a dream come true and you can imagine how making comparisons with their own war torn Aleppo might seem to them."