OFFICIALS at Sedgemoor District Council have refused to be drawn into a war of words after a blistering attack from a councillor at a neighbouring authority.

West Somerset Council member Cllr Jon Freeman made the comments at a meeting to discuss the future of his authority, which is facing a financial crisis.

West Somerset Council is considering teaming up with Taunton Deane Council to help run its services.

Speaking to councillors in Taunton last week, Mr Freeman described Sedgemoor as “shady and dodgy”.

In an extraordinary outburst, he called the Deane “decent, honest, honourable and reputable”, which “is certainly not the case with Sedge-moor District Council”.

He said: “The problem is Hinkley Point – we’ve got it, they want it.

“Many of us at West Somerset have personal experience of shady dealings and dodgy behaviour by Sedgemoor.

“They’re trying to rob us of any sweeties which may come our way from developments at Hinkley Point.”

A Sedgemoor District Council spokeswoman said: “We welcome the news that West Somerset Council has found a way forward in addressing their long-term viability.

“SDC waits for the plans to be drawn up and agreed by West Somerset, assisted by Taunton Deane.

“If West Somerset feels that there are any services Sedgemoor could help deliver this will be considered at the appropriate time.

“However, Sedgemoor District Council’s officers and members are also clear that any help given in delivering services to West Somerset must be on a proper financial basis and at no cost to council taxpayers in Sedgemoor.”

Deane councillors will vote on the tie-up next month.

Bridgwater and West Somerset MP Ian Liddell-Grainger said: “I understand the pressure everyone’s under, but there’s no way we can’t move forward.

“The Coalition Government is very clear that West Somerset’s position has to be sorted out.”