BOOZED-UP Butlin’s visitors are scaring families out of Minehead town centre with their ‘threatening’ and ‘rowdy’ behaviour, it was warned this week.
Brawling, nudity and urinating in public are just some of the complaints of hooliganism and drunkenness made to West Somerset Ian Liddell-Grainger as the summer season hots up.
Guests of the holiday resort, many there for stag and hen parties, are drinking in public and making the town a no-go area on Saturdays, the MP claims.
Mr Liddell-Grainger wants extra police on the streets to control the behaviour of those attending adults-only weekends – and he plans on being there himself to witness first-hand the effect anti-social behaviour is having on Minehead.
Bosses at the resort have vowed to work with the MP and police to tackle the issue.
Mr Liddell-Grainger said: “I have had reports of brawling, public nudity, urinating in public and of people having to be carried back to Butlin’s dead drunk in the middle of the afternoon.
“There seems to be complete disregard for – and no enforcement of - the alcohol-free zones West Somerset District Council has set up, including the one on the beach.
“The level of rowdiness is quite intimidating: mothers are scared to allow their children into the town centre at times like this because the atmosphere is so threatening.”
The MP says Butlin’s is a major employer and traders welcome the business the 9,000-capacity resort brings, but believes the town “is paying a very high price for it”.
He plans to write to Avon and Somerset Police for more manpower to deal with the mounting number of complaints and is urging the public to report inappropriate behaviour.
“Minehead is essentially a family resort but it is no place for families while there are hundreds of people milling around, displaying behaviour which goes well beyond acceptable limits,” said Mr Liddell-Grainger.
“Butlin’s would deploy its own security staff in the town but there is a legal obstacle to that.
“What we need are more police on the streets and greater use of CCTV to catch the worst offenders.”
Julian Highfield, resort director at Butlin’s, said: “We have enjoyed a remarkably close relationship with the people of Minehead and the surrounding areas over many years. It has proved beneficial both to the resort and the town.
“Every member of my team at Butlin’s is determined to ensure that our guests continue to enjoy their time at Minehead, both in the town and at the resort. We want this harmonious relationship to continue.
“We would happily play our part in addressing any recent concerns and work closely with representatives of Minehead Town Council, West Somerset Council, Avon and Somerset Police and Mr Liddell-Grainger in a constructive dialogue.”