THE Salvation Army has apologised for an administrative blunder that resulted in donated clothes being left on the ground of a Taunton car park.

The charity was responding to a complaint about its overflowing clothing bank in Kilkenny Car Park.

A long-time supporter of the Salvation Army said she was appalled the items had not been collected for some time.

People had been leaving donations of second hand clothes and shoes beside the container as it was full.

Before the mess was cleared this week, the woman, who asked not to be named, said: "It looks awful.

"People arriving in Taunton by train who pass that way - what sort of impression will they get of our town?

"The Salvation Army should collect the clothes left there on a regular basis.

"I get it that maybe there's a staff shortage at the moment for whatever reason, but if they are unable to make collections at the moment, maybe someone from the charity should leave a note telling people not to leave their clothes donations out at the moment.

"This pile of clothes seems to be getting bigger for some time, probably at least a fortnight or more."

The woman said the Salvation Army is "a solid, Christian-based charity," but added: "Leaving the clothes donated sprawled across the ground, out in the rain, doesn't help anybody and creates a bad impression. The clothes people have thoughtfully donated will become unwearable.

"It's so disrespectful to the people who try to help other who may have fallen on hard times.

"There are plenty of other worthwhile charities and in future I will support some of them rather than the Salvation Army."

A Salvation Army spokesperson yesterday said: "We apologise that this clothing bank has not been cleared due to an administrative oversight.

"A collector is due to visit today (Monday) to clear the site, and we can confirm that it will be visited twice weekly, and monitored to ensure the site is kept clear, and there will be room for people to donate their unwanted clothes and shoes, for which we are extremely grateful.

“We have approximately 8,000 clothing banks across the UK which accept clothing and shoes in good condition and our dedicated collectors manage sites across Somerset.

"To report a full bank please contact 0808 141 5890 or email with details.”