MONMOUTHSHIRE County Council needs to be “more proactive” in clamping down quickly on illegal campers travelling to Chepstow, the town’s MP has said. 

David Davies has questioned why it took over a week for the encampment to be moved from the council-run Welsh Street car park. 

Several vehicles, caravans and motorhomes arrived on Friday 26 April, with residents and visitors reporting they were unable to park in the disabled bays. 

The group left on bank holiday Monday 6 May. 

Nearby business owners, including Natalie Davies of women’s fashion boutique Utopia on Moor Street, said people were deterred from using the car park and footfall was down to “next to nothing”. 

She met with Mr Davies to express her concerns and echoed calls for stronger action from the local authority. 

“Monmouthshire County Council took away free Saturday Christmas parking for shoppers in our town during December and is content to punish businesses further by allowing illegal campers to take over one of its main car parks,” said Ms Davies. 

“It does not seem fair that the rest of the town and anyone visiting should be expected to buy a parking ticket while these campers stay for free and cock a snook at the law. 

“It is time to hold an emergency meeting with us local traders and put action in place to stop this.” 

One possible solution would be installing height barriers at the entrance to Welsh Street car park, Ms Davies suggested. 

Monmouth MP Mr Davies has asked the council to outline what steps would be taken in future to prevent the busy car park from being “used and abused”. 

“We seem to have a regular problem with groups of illegal campers travelling to Chepstow and the council needs to be far more proactive in dealing with them,” said Mr Davies. 

“A lot of people are angry that while the council seems unwilling to enforce its own parking fees against illegal campers, it is quite happy to hit the town with a parking charge rise. 

“Instead of favouring those who travel to Chepstow to camp illegally, officials should act swiftly and immediately issue a direction to leave.”