Sedgemoor District Council this week defended its decision not to bid for the Olympic Torch to pass through the region.

Thousands of spectators turned out last week to watch the flame being carried through West Somerset, Taunton and Glastonbury, but bypass Sedgemoor.

Council bosses had said they believed it would be too expensive to host the Torch.

Some Mercury readers have criticised Sedgemoor District Council for not putting itself forward to stage part of the Torch relay.

Roger Anniss, of Cannington, said: “The decision denied thousands of residents the opportunity to savour this once in a lifetime experience."

Estimates put the cost of hosting the Torch in Taunton Deane at £40,000, but it is thought factoring in the loss of council officers’ time may have increased that figure.

In response, Sedgemoor District Council said it had taken the decision with taxpayers’ interests at heart and referred to its position statement which was made earlier this year.