The current Taunton Deane constituency was created in 2010 following parliamentary boundary changes. The constituency follows the boundaries of Taunton Deane Borough Council and includes the market towns of Taunton and Wellington, plus surrounding Somerset villages.
Taunton is the county town of Somerset and is a key commercial and administrative centre. The County Council's main offices are based in the town centre. Wellington, made famous when Arthur Wellesley took the title Duke of Wellington, is the second largest town.
Taunton boasts a range of stunning landscapes which few localities can match, rising from the cattle-grazed meadows of the Somerset Levels to the windswept heights of the majestic Quantock Hills and, further south, the equally striking Blackdowns with their cloak of ancient woodlands.
Both these uplands are classed as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and have retained their own, unique characters.
Taunton Deane is also home to three towns – Taunton itself, Somerset’s lively county town; bustlingWellington; and the historic borough of Wiveliscombe.
But stand in the centre of any of them and you’re no more than a few minutes from beautiful countryside, for Taunton Deane remains a largely rural area, the home of many types of farming from livestock rearing to fruit growing, for which it has long been famed.
Taunton Deane enjoys excellent transport links – it’s bisected by both the M5 and the Paddington-Penzance rail line – but economic growth hasn’t been allowed to overwhelm its special charm. Leave behind the six-lane highway and the roar of the inter-city train and you plunge into a network of by-roads and lanes, some etched deep into the soft sandstones, others offering breathtaking views as they wind up steep hillsides, and all linking a network of quiet villages and tucked-away hamlets where time has not exactly stood still, but certainly appears to have slowed down.
Yet this is no backwater. Taunton Deane has a vibrant culture, world-class attractions for the tourist, a sometimes hectic social life. It was the birthplace of Taste of the West, Britain’s largest and most dynamic regional food marketing group and all the West Country’s legendary products including cheese and cider and many more besides are now made here.
Add in first-class assured accommodation and restaurants and pubs serving locally-sourced food and drink and it all adds up to the ideal destination for a day visit, short break or holiday.