BRIDGWATER MP Ian Liddell-Grainger thinks there is a case for Bridgwater to replace Taunton as Somerset's county town - in this week's featured letter he explains why:

"Bridgwater Mercury readers may be entertained by the comments of a bright Bridgwater schoolgirl who was visiting the Houses of Parliament recently on an educational tour. 

"She knew the names of Mr Speaker, and the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Labour Party. 

"But when I asked her what the County Town of Somerset is called she hesitated for a very long time. “Is it Bridgwater?” she asked me, uncertainly.

"I was obliged to tell her the truth and watch a look of complete disappointment sweep across her young face. 

Bridgwater Mercury:

"After all, Bridgwater is her home. She loves the place. Bridgwater is expanding and becoming more prosperous by the day. 

"The shops are busy, the big chains are queuing up to get in. 
There are new offices, new opportunities and new hope in the whole place.

"It feels like Somerset’s strong beating heart even if it hasn’t got the title.

"That got me thinking. Taunton is not the County Town it used to be. 

"The famous cattle market moved up here a decade ago and many of the reasons to go there have departed since then. 

"Taunton will always have its castle and its history. Does it still need – let alone deserve – the status and title of Somerset’s County Town? 

"I’m with the schoolgirl on this one, and I would be fascinated to know what other readers think."

That is the view of Bridgwater and West Somerset MP Ian Liddell-Grainger, but what do you think? Should Bridgwater be Somerset's county town?

Do you have a local issue that you feel needs to be highlighted? The Bridgwater Mercury has relaunched its Letters page and wants to hear from you. Send your letters to