Published: September 21, 2011
Council branded 'irresponsible' as beach wardens end season early

Concerns have been raised about beach safety in the Burnham-On-Sea area this week after Sedgemoor District Council ended the seasonal contracts of its beach wardens - even though signs at the entrances to some beaches continue to state that the wardens are in place until October.

As we've highlighted in the photo above, the signs at Berrow state that no lifeguard service is in place, but the beach is "warden patrolled from April to October".

District Council spokeswoman Claire Faun confirmed to "Our beach wardens finished for the season last Friday. While the signs do say the beaches are watched by wardens until October, these dates are weather dependent."

"If the forecast is good for the final fortnight of September we can extend their contracts, but given the poor forecast we let them go this year."

She added: "We do have people on call to return if there is any reappearance of good weather."

But one concerned local councillor, Cllr Joe Leach, told "It's very irresponsible of Sedgemoor to claim wardens are in operation when in fact they are not."

"People will be using the beach expecting it to be wardened and therefore they could be putting themselves at risk."

"The signs need to be changed to state that the wardening ended in September or the wardens' contracts should run until the start of next month."

He says he will be escalating the matter to Sedgemoor District Council's leader.

One regular beach user, Greg Brookes, told "It seems to be a worrying example of money-saving at the council, but letting the wardens go a couple of weeks before advertised is also potentially putting people at risk."


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