COUNCILLORS representing areas of Taunton branded "crime-ridden ghettoes" by an MP have told him to put his own house in order.

Four Taunton Deane Borough Council representatives of Eastgate and Blackbrook and Holway - including two former Mayors - have hit back following Bridgwater MP Ian Liddell-Grainger's attack on their wards.

Cllrs Hazel Prior-Sankey and Richard Lees, both former first citizens, and current Deputy Mayor Cllr Fran Smith and LibDem leader at Deane House Cllr Simon Coles have written a letter expressing their outrage at the comments.

They accuse Conservative Mr Liddell-Grainger's outburst in the House of Commons of being insulting.

"He has described our communities as 'hotspots' of crime and becoming 'crime-ridden ghettoes'," they said.

"This is blatantly false and a slur on law-abiding areas which have a strong community spirit."

They go on to say that LibDem Cllrs Chris Booth and Federica Smith-Roberts have been working with East Reach traders, the police and Streetwise team to address "a degree of anti-social behaviour" on the patch.

But they add: "Ironically, the crime rate per resident of Bridgwater is slightly higher than the same figure for Taunton.

"Perhaps Mr Liddell-Grainger would do better to address crime in his own constituency than Taunton, where residents are less likely to be victims of crime."

They said: "Our areas are full of great community groups, brilliant independent and chain shops and a fabulous place to live and work, all of which we are proud to represent."