Protecting water users

AS SOMEONE who came to Weston years ago on the back of a multi national company's sponsorship promotion, relating

AS SOMEONE who came to Weston years ago on the back of a multi national company's sponsorship promotion, relating solely to watersports, and ending up as a senior member of Weston Bay Watersports Club, I have found it very hard to agree with the statements the club has had to make to respond to the accusations made by certain people regarding the North Somerset permit scheme for launching at Knightstone (page 5, April 13 issue).The club has made itself one of the top two clubs in the UK and has served Weston water users well over the years, generating a grant backed by the council to give the slipway as it is today, and ensuring all its members adhere to basic health and safety/insurance rules that are no different to those required to drive a vehicle on the road.The sole reason for having this scheme is to protect water users, regardless of the fact that joining a body of people as part of the idea is felt by the anti-permit protester as moneymaking/profiteering. It is not. The basic principles of courtesy on the promenade/slipway and on the water are essential and must be enforced somehow.Judging from the number of boat owners and jet skiers who have already joined the permit scheme, together with the positive response to it at a recent North Somerset water users meeting, the financial outlay appears to be totally acceptable, at less than £1.50 per week. However, as stated in the club's response, it does mean everyone has to have insurance and that may cost £300 to £400 per year which may be prohibitive for some. Weston is probably among the last to have such a charge but I fully believe we are correct to do so.RICHARD GREEN - Boulevard, Weston


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