THE removal of old boats, trailers and kayaks from the river at St Dogmaels has been branded ‘heavy-handed’ and ‘short-sighted’.

A local resident voiced her anger when given the opportunity to speak at a meeting of the village’s community council, which has embarked on a process of clearing the area at the Pinnog.

Councillors at St Dogmaels are keen to tidy up the area around the pumping station mound, which has long been considered something of an eyesore as well as a danger.

The community council posted legal notices that it intended to start a clear-up and some boats and other items have already been removed.

“I think the whole process and notification might have been handled differently and through some sort of consultation process,” said the resident.

“This is a heavy-handed way of dealing with this and is very short-sighted. I understand the community council want to clear up the area as it is an eyesore but I feel the way you have gone about it will impact on the health and welfare of people and the river.

“There is a precedent for boats to be there.

“It is taking life off the river and I know of one boat owner who was so stressed he has decided to sell his boat and that’s a real shame as it has given him a lot of pleasure. I am very concerned about the life of the river and the community aspect of that.

“I am not aware my boat is a danger to others. My boat is not abandoned and is in regular use and I don’t understand where you are going with this.”

Cllr Phil Hutchings said the community council had no intention of stopping people using and enjoying the river.

He said: “It has become a dumping ground for abandoned boats and trailers. We had a partial clear-up and removed some of the more dangerous elements.

“We have a duty of care as it is a registered village green. The track down there is also a problem but we are trying to sort that out too and we would not be doing that if we did not want people to use the river.

“We put out information as to what we were doing as we did not know who owned the boats and we tried to make people aware of all the issues.”