DEAR Editor,

As a new subscriber of the excellent Somerset County Gazette, I recently read an ill-informed article in your letters page, submitted by a Mr J.Horsley, about our admirable local Member of Parliament, Rebecca Pow.

Four outstanding achievements quickly spring to mind: My family farmed at Monument Farm for 50 years, and we are proud of our association. Rebecca Pow secured the initial £1M from the Libor Fund to kick start the project to save the Wellington Monument from collapse; she convinced the then Secretary of State for Defence to retain 40 Commando Royal Marines in Norton Manor Camp, their operational hub, and their families still enjoy the amenities Taunton has to offer; Rebecca was also instrumental in securing funding for new hospital theatres at Musgrove Park, and the long overdue upgrade of the whole hospital site is finally underway; and lastly, working with GWR and Network Rail, she led the upgrade of Taunton Rail Station, and as a disabled rail traveller with a wheelchair, I am very grateful for her intervention.

The old station was very difficult to navigate with minimal parking. Our MP has worked tirelessly for her constituents by representing their views in Parliament and assisting many constituents who have needed help. We are one such family. Moreover, she has delivered an extraordinary amount for residents and working with key stakeholders, has supported the District Council and Conservative County Council. She secured £14M from the High Street’s fund to help transform Taunton town centre and £5M for the new Digital Hub on Firepool working with the Local Enterprise Partnership.

Rebecca Pow supported the expansion of Junction 25 with much needed cycle crossings and by popular demand, secured a second consultation on the A358 upgrade. She tirelessly campaigns to bring a rail station to Wellington and co-chairs the Rail Steering Group. Wellington is in the top 10 national projects being fast tracked through the New Stations Fund.

This is a proud record of delivery, and as Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow has steered the hugely successful Environment Act through Parliament, putting the environment at the centre of Government Policy. We should congratulate her tireless efforts, and I challenge anyone to dispute that she is not doing the very best for residents in Taunton Deane. Her impressive record is there for all to see.


Bishop’s Lydeard