MINEHEAD’S MP has called on the town council to re-think its decision to approve a five-day funfair this week.

The fair is due to run from Wednesday to Sunday on part of Alcombe Common, close to the seafront.

But Conservative MP Ian Liddell-Grainger says he has been deluged with complaints from constituents who say the fair represents an unacceptable health risk at a time when Covid-19 cases are on the increase.

The Government has recently relaxed restrictions and allowed funfairs to restart.

But, said Mr Liddell-Grainger, with daily figures for new cases steadily climbing and the likelihood of tighter restrictions being reintroduced it clearly made sense to reduce risks wherever possible.

“And I do not see any way in which social distancing can be made to work at a funfair,” he said.

“I know many people, particularly older members of the community, will not even contemplate visiting the fair.

“But it will certainly be an attraction for younger people – with the attendant risk that they may pick up the virus and transmit it to their older relatives.

“I do not think this decision was well thought through.

“ I don’t normally make it my business to involve myself in the affairs of the town council, but from the contents of my mailbox it is clear that a great many local people think the fair would expose the community to unnecessary danger and that it threatens to undermine the efforts so many have made to ensure West Somerset remains a low-risk virus area.”

However Minehead Town Council issued a response saying it was saddened Mr Liddell-Grainger had voiced his concerns to the media rather than directly to the town council.

A spokesperson for the Minehead Town Council said: "The subject of allowing a funfair to be permitted on Alcombe Common was discussed and agreed by town councillors at the Full Council meeting on August 25,2020.

"The decision was to invite the funfair to come to Minehead in September 2020 as long as the provider conforms strictly to Government Covid-19 rules.

"All town councillors have been circulated with information regarding the current Government rules and they have all received all correspondence with public health and other bodies regarding the fairground arrangements.

"At this present time the providers of the funfair are acting legally and within the guidelines the town council set out, however government rules are changing on a daily basis and the town council and the funfair provider are monitoring the situation.”

The funfair is being run by Leigh Danter & Sons, with Mr Danter saying all the appropriate precautions are in place to ensure numbers are limited, social distancing is maintained, hand sanitiser is available at numerous stations, and rides and attractions are cleaned on a regular basis.

Mr Danter said: “Funfairs have been permitted to run by the government and we have been back in action for nearly three months now under the new guidance.

“It is going to be really fantastic coming back to Minehead, with a number of new attractions to boot.

“We are definitely going to be able to cater for any brave thrill seekers by bringing our white-knuckle wonder Oxygen to Minehead for the first time.

Mr Danter added: “We will have a fence put up around the site and security in order to ensure we can limit the numbers and maintain social distancing at the fair.

“There will also be hand sanitising stations and we will be using the track and trace system on entry.

“All the rides and have been specially treated with ZOONO sanitiser and all rides and attractions will be cleaned at regular intervals.”