I WOULDN'T be seen dead in The Sun if you battered me in chip oil and wrapped me in it, writes Cllr Brian Smedley, leader of Bridgwater Town Council.

Sadly, last week I was, not through any choice of my own but the king of the gutter press quoted me alongside painful remarks about ‘fleapit’ of a town and ‘machete wielding youths’ which obviously I didn’t make.

We don’t need this kind of publicity. Papers like the Sun depend on it to sell papers and keep up an agenda of fear, so people just see bad in everything.

We know what needs to be done, and we’re doing it.

Firstly, it’s not just Bridgwater, it’s a nationwide problem which has to be solved by national action.

So, to call Bridgwater a fleapit is offensive and wrong.

The police need the resources to deal with criminality.

The election of a new PCC, Clare Moody, on a promise to bring back visible neighbourhood policing is step one, and we asked her to come to Bridgwater, and literally her first destination after her election was Bridgwater.

Along with a massive police presence including enough horses to recreate the battle of Balaclava. Well, into the valley of death rode the glorious, er… four.

Secondly, the people on the streets are also victims, and they’re victims of a society that closed down the services that can help them - and that’s by a government that actually chooses to do that.

We can only change that by changing the government, and that’s not far off.

That means proper affordable housing, that means proper support services for people in need and the right intervention.

That means cleaning our town up so that people are proud of it and don’t want to trash it.

Town council is doing this right now as we take back control from the bigger councils.

That means restoring police numbers to pre-austerity levels.

That means help for people in need, and enforcing the law where it’s broken.

It’s not rocket science.

Rocket science is why people still buy the Sun….