THE leader of the LibDem Party Sir Ed Davey checked out the site of a planned mixed use and affordable housing development during a trip to Taunton this morning (Friday, March 18).


Sir Ed saw contractors starting the groundworks for the project at Firepool before moving on to meet staff and children at Minerva Primary School.

While in the county town, he announced plans for Somerset LibDems to build 1,000 new low and zero carbon council and social rent homes - if they win May's Somerset Council election.

Sir Ed said the homes would be enhanced by insulation, supported where possible by renewables such as solar panels, which will also reduce energy bills amid the cost of living crisis, leading to "a fairer, greener Somerset".


He added: "The Conservatives’ cost of living crisis means more young families find themselves in a generation of renting, unable to buy their own home.

“Somerset Liberal Democrats have a plan for young families trying to get onto the housing market, and today they’re announcing green council housing.

"By building thousands more homes, the LibDem team will work to give families an affordable home and doing so in a greener, cleaner way."

Ahead of his visit to Minerva Primary School Sir Ed said: "I'll be talking to the head and teachers and hopefully some of the pupils and focusing on the need to invest in education post Covid.

"We're already seeing under the Conservatives education cuts."

Sir Ed say the LibDems want to see a Covid catch-up fund of £10billion put into education.

He claimed around 29 per cent of children in Taunton Deane have a reading age below the chronological average.

Sir Ed said only the Conservatives or LibDems could win in the forthcoming county election as Labour "can't win".

Referring to his party's likelihood of winning the Taunton Deane seat at the next General Election, when Gideon Amos is expected to stand as the LibDem candidate, Sir Ed said: "I think Gideon has a great chance.

"If people want to get rid of the Conservatives nationally, if they want to get Boris out of No 10, then they should vote for Gideon.

"The LibDems work very hard for their constituents. The Tories are taking people for granted."

Mr Amos said: "Families deserve a fair deal, they’re not being given one by the Conservatives in Government, Liberal Democrats in Somerset are working hard to stop them taking people for granted.

“LibDem councils are delivering where the Conservative government has worryingly failed. Following years of good progress towards making all new homes zero carbon, the Conservative government abandoned the zero carbon homes drive as soon as they were able, abolishing our Task Force.

“The Conservative party is on the side of private developers, lining their pockets and taking local people for granted."

Executive councillor for housing on LibDem run SWT Council Cllr Francesca Smith said: “All our new council housing is to the highest insulation standards and we are now pioneering net zero carbon housing developments in our area.

"Our aim is a decent home in a good environment for all, at a cost that residents and the council can afford.

"I’m delighted we are delivering on the commitment to ensure our council housing not just survives but thrives. It’s our way of putting the heart back into Somerset."