Westonians know the mud well

WHAT a soft and sensitive bunch we have in Weston arguing that I have hurt the feelings of the RNLI and coastguard volunteers.

WHAT a soft and sensitive bunch we have in Weston arguing that I have hurt the feelings of the RNLI and coastguard volunteers.

Listen, if I HAD criticised them or the work they do I would be the first to apologise...but I didn't, as anyone who attended the meeting where I spoke will testify. It just shows you shouldn't' believe everything you read and hear!

My complaint was fairly and squarely directed at the fire brigade and the taxpayers' money they have put into buying, equipping and training crews for a hovercraft. That is then used to give them publicity for rescues that aren't needed in the first place. And that comment I DO stand by.

Yes, I know people get "stuck" in the mud but almost all are quite capable of extricating themselves, hard work though it might be, unless they are trying to cross the River Axe, which is a completely different situation and where the hovercraft is of little use anyway.


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I and many other Westonians know the mud well, because we've all tried the same thing over the years in our quest to reach the sea. It's the spirit of adventure that let us also climb trees in parks or walk along walls, which sadly this mollycoddling society we now live in seems to be intent on protecting us from.

To return to the point. I absolutely agree that the RNLI do an excellent job. In fact I would go further and say that it is disgraceful that the Government does not fund this service or the coastguard in the same way it appears to be happy wasting resources on giving the fire brigade a "competitive" role.

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Of course the joke will come when one of the volunteer organisations has to rescue a fire brigade hovercraft crew, who of course have little training or experience in maritime operations. And yet the authority sees itself now as the answer to river, coastal and other flooding disasters, or is this more duplicated training we will all be paying for?

No doubt there will be another round of comments now from the righteous and the Left wing amateur politicians, anxious to have a "pop" because of my position, but at least base it on what I say and put my name to, and not what you read or hear!

COUNCILLOR ELFAN AP REES

Deputy Leader

Editors Note:

We hope Cllr Ap Rees is not joining the brigade of councillors seeking to blame the media when their comments or behaviour draw public criticism. In June, the Mercury reported Cllr Ap Rees' statement to full council that he was "sick and tired of hearing the coastguard or fire service has gone to rescue someone who doesn't need it". The widespread condemnation that followed shows the public vehemently disagree with this point of view. Perhaps that is what has led Cllr Ap Rees to try to blame the Press

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