Ian Liddell-Grainger

MP compares Taunton to Syrian city of Aleppo
Somerset MP Ian Liddell-Grainger says his county town is more like the Syrian city of Aleppo.

MP defies whip in council merger protest

Ian Liddell-Grainger
Conservative Party

A Conservative MP has refused to support the government in two key Commons votes in a protest against a proposed council merger in his constituency.

Ian Liddell-Grainger is opposed to plans to merge West Somerset and Taunton Dean councils, despite them being given provisional government approval.

The Bridgwater & West Somerset MP first defied the whip last week by abstaining from a vote on the EU Withdrawal Bill.

Last night he refused to vote again - this time on the Finance Bill.

The leaders of both councils are in favour of the merger although tomorrow West Somerset councillors will be asked to reconsider their support in a motion being presented to full council by Conservative MP Rosemary Woods.

Road sign clutter: March recommendations

Lots of road signs

In March a number of recommendations were made by a Road Signs Task Force which had been set up by the government.

The recommendations included:

  • Removing entire categories of signs, like "box Brownie" camera notices
  • Vastly reducing the number of triangular warning signs
  • Allowing highway authorities to place signs on railings and walls, rather than on posts

But, several months on, Conservative MP Ian Liddell-Grainger (Bridgwater and West Somerset) has slammed the "inexcusable failure" of ministers to act on it.

Road sign clutter: 'Policies kept under review'

Road signs in Salisbury

Last year, a Road Signs Task Force was commissioned by then transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin.

At the time he said the number of road signs in England had more than doubled from 2.45 million in 1993 to 4.57 million in 2013.

Since then, little has been done to change that.

Ian Liddell-Grainger MP challenged the Transport Department with a series of parliamentary questions, but was told "the government receives many representations and keeps policies under review".

MP slams 'road sign clutter' inaction

Ian Liddell-Grainger
Conservative Party

An MP from the West has criticised the government for taking too much time to reduce signage clutter on our country's roads.

Several months ago the government said it would take action to help get rid of "pointless signs that are an eyesore and distract drivers".

Ian Liddell-Grainger, MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset, said last year's report "took a panel of experts over a year to put together and the Department of Transport has just ignored it and stuck it in a drawer".

"The failure of the Department for Transport to respond to this positively and actually do something is inexcusable," he added.