MINEHEAD’S MP has supported the town’s mayor in challenging the findings of a survey which ranked the resort among the worst in Britain.

Ian Liddell-Grainger said the Which? investigation had failed to take full account of the town’s setting and its position amid stunning scenery.

And he praised the efforts of the town council and local community groups who were behind a much-needed facelift now being carried out on the seafront.

The survey asked 3,000 people their opinions on resorts based on their beach, accommodation, attractions, scenery, peace and quiet and value for money.

Minehead achieved a score of 56 per cent, rating it 10th worst in the country - though still scored higher than Weston-Super-Mare and Burnham-on-Sea.

But, said Mr Liddell-Grainger, Conservative MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset: “You can pick holes in nearly every seaside resort in the country if you look hard enough.

“Every single one has suffered economically as a result of migration to the foreign holiday sector, which is why the Government has been setting aside special regeneration funds for their local authorities to tap into.

“And I am encouraged by the long-overdue improvements I now see taking place on the seafront as a result of that funding.”

Minehead’s mayor Sandra Slade has claimed the survey has failed to take into account everything the town has to offer apart from its beach.

And, said Mr Liddell-Grainger: “It may well be that Minehead no longer meets the aspirations of some modern holidaymakers. But it never, ever marketed itself as just a bucket-and-spade resort.

“Traditionally visitors came for the peace and quiet and above all for the instant access to some of the most stunning scenery in the country.

“Those visitors still come in their droves and rave about the quality of the countryside, the views and walking.

“But visitors who come here expecting to find Somerset’s answer to Blackpool with shoulder-to-shoulder bars, nightclubs, amusement arcades and burger bars are naturally going to be disappointed. And I rather suspect it is the views of people such as they that have contributed to this survey’s slightly disappointing findings.”

Somerset County Gazette:

FAMILY FAVOURITE: Thousands enjoy Minehead beach every summer

Cllr Slade said she felt the results came from a rather skewed survey, and it was impossible to effectively compare like with like when there is so much variety between towns.

“The winning village is one of just 400 people - we have 12,000 population and bring in hundreds of thousands of visitors.

“I will vigorously defend Minehead against this ranking.

“We were rated poorly for scenery but we are the gateway to the Exmoor National Park,” Cllr Slade said.

“Five minutes drive up North Hill and you have stunning views and incredible countryside, and in the town itself you have the harbour, Blenheim Gardens and our Edwardian architecture.

“If they came down and took the survey while the seafront work was ongoing I can see how it is not looking its best at the moment, but that work is being done with the hope to improve it ahead of the main season.”