Action teams could fold - warning

PUBLISHED: 13:23 10 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:42 24 May 2010

LOCAL action teams across Weston could soon be in crisis because of a lack of police and council support according to volunteers. Members of Kewstoke, Milton and Worlebury and Mead Vale LATs say group numbers are depleted because members do not feel lik

LOCAL action teams across Weston could soon be in crisis because of a lack of police and council support - according to volunteers.Members of Kewstoke, Milton and Worlebury and Mead Vale LATs say group numbers are depleted because members do not feel like they get the back-up they need.Kewstoke LAT has been suspended until further notice.The group's chairman, Steve Edwards, said: "The community and the supporters of the LAT are tired of the apathy coming from North Somerset Council and the police. It is just words about supporting the LATs."When we try to get hold of police officers we are told they are too busy in the town centre."North Somerset Council makes promises to us and we are told work will start immediately - for example on the bus terminus in the village."So the group is suspended until we can see if we can join forces with other LATs. But if we don't get support from the police and North Somerset Council I can't see us getting the volunteers back."Only six people attended the last meeting, which is less than half of what we had originally. We're really disappointed."Chairman of Milton and Worlebury LAT, Reverend Geoff Eales, says the group is considering combining with the one in Worle.He said: "At a number of meetings we've had the police phone at the last minute to say they can't turn up. We're not really getting the support we need. But when the officers do turn up everyone has a go at them so I don't always blame them."Brian Cartwright, who chairs the Mead Vale group, says their local beat officer attends every meeting but problems arise when incidents happen in the community.He said: "Attendance at meetings has gone from 70 four years ago to about 10 recently."Volunteers think they can't make a difference and a lot are frustrated at the lack of police support."A joint statement from North Somerset Council and the police said: "We work closely with the LATs and together we have developed some very successful projects."We are concerned to hear that some teams are experiencing problems at the moment. "The council and the police jointly fund an LAT co-ordinator who is there to support the teams. We really value our work with the LATs and want to work with them to resolve any problems they are having.

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