THE parents of a sickly toddler needing urgent medication have blasted a councillor who parked in a parent and toddler bay at a supermarket.

The youngster's two mums had to wait for Cllr Ian Morrell to leave before they were able to park up and pick up medicine for their 18-month-old son from the store's pharmacy.

Cllr Morrell, who claims he was suffering severe back pain at the time, said there were no other parking spaces available at Morrisons, in Taunton, when he visited on Saturday morning.

One of the child's mums, who also has chronic back pain, said: "Our son has been very ill with a severe chest infection and we urgently needed to get his medication.

"There were no other parents and children's spaces available and we had to wait for the councillor to move his car.

"The councillor showed a blatant disregard for the parking rules and for someone in his position it sets a very bad example."

The couple took photos of Cllr Morrell in his sports car at the Dellers Wharf site.

Somerset County Gazette:

He told the County Gazette: "As I am diagnosed with arthritis, and suffer from chronic and acute lower back pain, there were no other parking places available in the car park - apart from several in the parent and child section.

"On the day I was in severe discomfort - and on painkillers.

"In the circumstance it seems wholly reasonable that if there are no other parking spaces available in a car park, a decision has to be made whether to temporarily occupy an unused designated space.

"I have not claimed a blue badge - as I feel there are others worse off than me. However this episode leaves me with little option but to do so, although, and unlike some, I do not believe in the sense of automatic entitlement by the state.

"I did notice two adults in the car. I would have thought it common sense that such a priority would mean that one adult could have visited the pharmacy rather than keep any sick child waiting.

"It is therefore a pity that the adults in the car who reported this story did not approach me. I would have happily apologised and explained the reason for parking where I did.

"In any event, I hope their child is now feeling better."

Mr Morrell has been a councillor for Bishop's Hull on Taunton Deane Borough Council for a number of years.

He is standing as an Independent in the Manor ward for the Somerset West and Taunton Council elections on Thursday, May 2.