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Your Northern Beaches Independent Team have taken the bold step of writing to all Surf Life Saving Clubs in the area to reassure them there are no plans afoot to restructure the way that patrols are carried out across the region's beaches.

Before amalgamation, Manly, Warringah and Pittwater Councils each had slightly different regimes in place for patrols of their local beaches with Manly and Warringah employing Council Lifeguards, whereas Pittwater Council entered into contracts with a private provider.

Over recent weeks, rumours have been rife that if elected, Michael Regan and his team of independents would abandon the contracts and employ Council lifeguards at all 21 surf beaches.

The letter, sent to all surf clubs on the Northern Beaches last Thursday, seeks to reassure club members that there will be no changes to existing arrangements once the new council is elected on 9 September.

Michael Regan says the group were compelled to send the letter after hearing consistent rumours that his group would change the status quo.

"It's really disappointing that some candidates are using the surf clubs as their political plaything - starting rumours and fear-mongering to stir up trouble where there is none" said Mr Regan. "The truth is that current arrangements are set in stone. Existing contracts will remain in place and if possible, extended where need be. If elected, Your Northern Beaches Independent Team will work to enhance the service, and work with each club and group of clubs to maximise community benefits."

Mr Regan said that there will be no 'one size fits all approach' to patrols. "Every club is different - they each have their particular needs and processes. Council should be working in genuine partnership with them to identify those needs and to deliver the best results for them and the community they serve".

Mr Regan went on to say that the Surf Life Saving movement should be one of the key beneficiaries of the amalgamation process. "One of the biggest advantages of bringing the three councils together was to pool resources in order to produce a higher level of service" said Mr Regan. "Our 21 Surf Life Saving Clubs are a classic example of the type of community organisations that should be benefiting from that more considered approach to service delivery. The election on 9 September presents a unique opportunity to get these foundations right so we can deliver the best outcomes possible - not only for surf life saving clubs but for the wider community."

Mr Regan pointed to the fact that some of his running mates are members of the clubs, including Rohan Fisher, who is Duty Operations Advisor for Surf Life Saving Sydney Northern Beaches, and Sita Mason, who is a National Surf Life Saving Champion. "Our team includes members of local surf life saving clubs across the region" said Mr Regan. "There is no way they would be part of something that would damage the movement. I encourage anyone with concerns to approach their candidates with their questions and hear from the directly."

Media Comment: Michael Regan 0425 220 618

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