Somerset time zone proposed by Conservative MP
Conservative MP has proposed that Somerset should have its own
time zone, with its clocks running up to 15 minutes behind the
rest of the UK.
The BBC reports that Jacob Rees-Mogg has put down an amendment
to a Commons bill on the UK's time zone arguing for Somerset to
be able to set its own time locally.
said this was the practice before times were standardised in the
the amendment is unlikely to be voted upon when the Daylight Savings
Bill is debated this Friday.
private member's bill, which has been put forward by fellow Tory
Rebecca Harris, urges the government to launch a study of the
pros and cons of moving the UK's clocks forward a hour throughout
the whole year, not just during the period of British Summer Time.
It recommends ministers should conduct a trial of moving to BST,
which last occurred between 1968-1971.
Mr Rees-Mogg opposes the bill and has tabled an amendment to the
proposed legislation suggesting "the county of Somerset as
defined by the Lieutenants Act shall revert to the customary time
used prior to the Great Western Railway time established in 1840".
the 1840s, times were set locally across the country, often by
churches, based on the position of the sun.
practice effectively ended when the Great Western Railway introduced
a standardised timetable for its trains.
firms' move to standardised timetables - pegged to GMT - in the
1840s and 1850s were initially resisted with large towns continuing
to show both "railway and local time" separately.
passed a law in 1880 to make GMT the standard time across the
Talking to BBC Radio Somerset, Mr Rees-Mogg said he had tabled
the amendment because he wanted MPs to discuss all the issues
involved in whether the UK should move to a different time zone.
referring to past calls by some politicians in Scotland for it
to adopt separate arrangements from the rest of the UK, he said:
"If it's good enough for Scotland, it's good enough for Somerset."
Rees-Mogg, who was elected to Parliament for North East Somerset
in 2010, recently controversially suggested that council officials
seeking to impose on-the-spot fines for minor offences should
be forced to wear bowler hats.