A group campaigning for better disabled access to Westward Ho! beach met with MP Geoffrey Cox this weekend.

The group is seeking better access for disabled beach-users and have concerns about the shallow pool and drop at the end of the slipway.

Mr Cox was in the village to attend events highlighting plastic pollution when he struck up a conversation with campaigners.

The beach was awarded a Blue Flag this week for the 16th year running, but campaigners argue that although the rules promise wheelchair access and disabled access to water, there is none.

John Martin, owner of The Carousel Amusement Arcade, also owns part of the slipway and has been campaigning to fix it for more than 10 years. But he said he felt he came 'up against bureaucracy' with all involved.

He said: "It has been like pushing string. At Easter there was a two-foot drop, it's just not acceptable on the only Blue Flag beach in Torridge. Beaches should be accessible to everyone."

Mr Martin said he is seeking permission to put a temporay, wooden structure in place. He is also hopeful a meeting will be held to find a permanent solution.

After visiting the slipway, Mr Cox said: "Everyone should be able to enjoy one of the finest beaches anywhere, yet I watched on Saturday as wheelchair users and local families with small children struggled to get onto the beach because of the lack of a proper ramp for them to do so.

"With the sands often several feet below the end of the slipway, it has become essential that action is taken to provide a solution."

Disabled beach-user Minnie Holder said: "I was encouraged by this outcome. I thought his questions were thoughtful and he appeared genuinely disgusted at the state of the slipway."

Steve Hearse, TDC's strategic manager of resources, said the pool at the bottom of the slipway tended to appear following periods of rough sea conditions.

He added: "The calmer seas of the summer season enable sand to settle and provide much better access.

"This year storms have occurred much later than usual, as was the case when Storm Hannah hit the south west a few weeks ago, and there is still a pool present. With settled conditions forecast we expect to see sand building up in this area and access to improve."