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Rural Somerset at threat from cabinet reshuffle

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The Tories' cabinet reshuffle on Monday and Tuesday created a massive buzz in the national press, but should be of concern to rural communities in Somerset over the Winter. New minister does not mean better decisions for rural communities.

The Tories' cabinet reshuffle on Monday and Tuesday created a massive buzz in the national press. Whilst it was heralded by the Tories' and the right wing media as the “massacre of the male, stale and pale”, the reshuffle has shown the Tories to have a worrying lapsed commitment to equality.

The cabinet is still resoundingly male and pale, with only two more women appointed to full cabinet positions, and no-one of a minority ethnic background given a full cabinet role. Much of this won't matter to the ordinary people of Somerset. With many families and businesses in Moorland and Muchelney still recovering from the flooding that beset our community during the Winter months, the news that Owen Patterson the purveyor of so much of this misery has been removed from the government may be of some comfort.

This feeling of satisfaction is likely to dissipate when they are made aware of his replacement; Liz Truss. Whilst the Conservatives should be applauded for appointing a working mother from a working class background to a cabinet of Eton educated, white men, it should not be forgotten that Mrs Truss's background prior to entering politics is in big oil having worked as a Commercial Manager for Shell. How can a person who's career started in big oil possibly be a voice of reason on climate change, and stop flooding in Somerset from becoming an annual torment?

In addition to this, Mrs Truss's record in parliament should be of concern, having supported Osbourne's devastating cuts to the budget which contributed to the catastrophe experienced by rural communities in Somerset over the Winter. Mrs Truss will continue to be complicit in slashing DEFRA's budget, and is unlikely to provide anything more than a short term solution for what is to be a growing problem for rural communities in the decades to come.

The Con Dems have once again shown a flagrant disregard for the people of Somerset, they expect you to support them in this upcoming election.

Only Labour can restore DEFRA's flood defence budget, provide long term solutions and tackle climate change. Under Labour our roads and houses would remain safe for future generations.

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