RNLI beach lifeguards

Burnham-On-Sea’s RNLI beach lifeguards service will not be axed during the current round of budget cuts by Somerset Council, it has been decided this week.

Somerset Council’s Executive Committee made the decision on Wednesday (February 7th) during several amendments to its budget

As first reported by Burnham-On-Sea.com, the authority was considering axing Burnham and Brean RNLI beach lifeguards to save £35,000.

It is one of the cost-saving proposals unveiled by Somerset Council as it to looks to save money to avoid effective bankruptcy.

The council declared a financial emergency last year and is facing cost pressures of £108.5million in 2024-25.  Other measures under consideration include raising council tax, closing recycling centres and selling assets, plus stopping CCTV cameras.

During Wednesday’s meeting, Liz Leyshon, Somerset Council deputy leader, said: “I propose that we remove this saving of £35,000 while we work with other partners to ensure safety on the beach and in the water at Burnham, a beach that has specific characteristics and safety implications.”

Claire Sully, local Parliamentary Candidate for the Lib Dems, who has been working to try and avoid cuts of the lifeguards service, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “The process to ‘closing’ the budget ‘gap’ at Somerset Council, which is a legal requirement, has been open and transparent and shows the importance of working with Town and Parish Councils and listening to local people.”

“Losing any Lifeguard coverage in Burnham-On-Sea not only causes understandable concern locally, it affects perception for visitors to the area. This is why I felt I needed to do what I could to help and look at other options and get Somerset Council to listen, which they have.”

She says she will continue working with local groups on the best solutions for beach safety and has been supporting the setting up of the Burnham branch of the National Coastwatch.


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