THE local Liberal Democrat party has changed its name ahead of the next General Election.

Previously known as Taunton Deane Liberal Democrats, it will now be called Taunton and Wellington Liberal Democrats to reflect the area covered by the new Parliamentary constituency being introduced by the Boundary Commission.

The move was approved at a packed annual meeting, held at Taunton Rugby Club on Friday.

The AGM also saw the election of a new President with former Taunton mayoress Gill Slattery taking over from long-serving Pauline Sturgess of Wellington.

There were also three special awards presented to party volunteers.

Susann Parker won the Tim Pugsley award for outstanding contribution as a volunteer, Paul Adams of Hatch Beauchamp was named top deliverer, and Cllr Connor Solle of Vivary, was top canvasser.

The AGM was followed by a fund-raising dinner attended by more than 100 ordinary members and supporters.

The special guests were Richard Food, MP for Tiverton and Honiton, and Sir Vince Cable, former Business Secretary and Leader of the Liberal Democrats from 2017 to 2019.

The dinner heard speeches from Gideon Amos, the party’s Parliamentary candidate for Taunton and Wellington, and Mr Foord before the pair were joined by Sir Vince for a question-and-answer session.

Afterwards, Mr Foord said: "I live in Uffculme and am often in Wellington and Taunton so I have seen how Gideon is working across the local community.

“Seeing over 100 members backing Gideon at the formation of the new Taunton and Wellington Liberal Democrats this week was inspiring.”