I have read for some years of the toxic spats between the two major parties locally and have deplored it, but realise that is the nature of local (and National) politics. All my time in trying to strive unsuccessfully for realistic ideas for infrastructure issues in Taunton I have tried to be apolitical. My 50 years experience and expertise as a Charted Bridge Engineer and of others counts as nothing.

However having read the two letters in last week’s Gazette I find myself a little more in understanding of why there are such spats. On the one hand we have Cathy Bakewell’s letter coming to a Lib Dem event and been faced by Tory party leaflets at a Lib Dem event, and also explaining the well known deficiencies of the present Tory administration. The previous Lib Dem administration was over a decade ago. The financial difficulties faced then were occurring in many councils of all political colours because of Central governments bad financial advice at the time. Central government was Tory. That is history and arguably not relevant to today.

Dilly Bradley’s letter is probably an embarrassment to moderate Tories in contrast it is so ill-informed. The financial mismanagement of this Tory administration is almost unbelievable! Very poor social services reports; amalgamating two councils - then scrapping the whole district structure and reorganising and doing up offices ad nauseam at huge financial cost and almost going bust as a council. Even now doing up the county’s offices for what? Don’t Tory national, county and district people ever talk to each other it seems. A private company would go bust if they performed like that!

The district were at one time going to occupy part of County Hall under both Tory administrations but they decided to waste money doing up the district office instead. On the education front they don’t provide schools appropriately, so especially secondary school students cross town daily to attend remote schools because local schools are full - even without planned housing developments.

On the roads front the Tories came into power promising to fix the potholes. The roads are the worst they have ever been with roads collapsing all over the place - not just potholes. This is not a reflection on ex colleagues or Skansca their contractor - they obviously haven’t the money allocated from on high

I recall David Fothergill in a newsletter to staff complaining on a visit to London, of the 30something cranes he could see from the office window of the office he visited in London in contrast to minimal activity in Taunton.

The government and the council are the same party but he didn’t get his share of the government support necessary to sustain operations, unlike Devon County Council - also Conservative run. Allegedly Devon sends people to Somerset to see how NOT to run things.