MINEHEAD Town Council is urgently calling on Somerset County Council to help prevent campervan and motorhome owners from taking advantage of the free parking and public toilets at Minehead’s West Quay.

Minehead’s West Quay currently has several spaces which are free to park in between 6pm and 8am, and motorhome users have been making the most of it in recent weeks.

At Minehead Town Council’s meeting on Tuesday evening (July 28), concerned councillors said motorhomes owners are parking overnight at West Quay close to Culvercliffe, and using the public toilets in the nearby car park to fill up with gallons of water, run hose pipes and empty their toilet cassettes.

An emergency motion put forward by Cllr John Malin was passed calling on Somerset County Council to act urgently, saying the current situation was posing a health risk during the ongoing pandemic.

Councillors urged Somerset County Council to install clearer signage or introduce a traffic regulation order to prevent motorhome owners parking at Quay West overnight.

County councillor Christine Lawrence spoke at the meeting, saying she lives near the harbour and said the residents she had spoken to were not against the campervans as such, but felt there should be a charge for the privilege of parking overnight and using the facilities.

Cllr Anne Lawton said: “I am concerned that in failing to act we will fail these residents.

“The current situation is a substantial health risk, and there are a large number of motorhomes doing this - it can be like a caravan park on weekends.”

Cllr Terry Venner added: “The signage does not match up with the road markings and it needs addressing. We do not want to be negative, we want motorhomes to come to Minehead - but they should use the caravan parks we have.”

Cllr Beresford Mandley said he felt the current situation was a ‘free for all’, and was costing the taxpayers ‘a fortune’.

Mayor of Minehead Cllr Paul Bolton said: “The police are frustrated as there is nothing they can do even though they are getting a lot of calls about the matter.”

Cllr Malin’s motion was approved almost unanimously, with just one councillor abstaining.