BRIDGWATER and West Somerset MP Ian Liddell-Grainger has hit out at the former chiefs of the West Somerset and Taunton Deane Councils following a damning report into the merger to form the new Somerset West and Taunton Council.

Mr Liddell-Grainger, who was one of the most vehement critics of the move, said the auditors report showed the merger was 'a disgraceful scheme which cost the taxpayers a fortune'.

READ MORE: Scathing report into merger process of Taunton Deane and West Somerset Councils

He said: "The plan to transform West Somerset and Taunton Deane councils was based on lies. The promised savings were inventions. The most basic research was missing.

"The redundancy scheme cost double because so many staff took advantage of its generous terms – including the Chief Executive.

"What rankles with me is the involvement of 'expert' consultants who extracted large sums of public money to devise and implement such a dreadful 'transformation' programme."

Mr Liddell-Grainger says he felt councillors were deliberately kept in the dark about what was happening.

The Conservative MP added: "Right at the start of this 'transformation' saga I warned them it was doomed.

"It gives me no pleasure now to say that I was right."