Councillor says sorry to King’s Lynn ferry man

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A West Norfolk councillor has apologised to the operator of Lynn’s pedestrian ferry after the court case brought against him was dropped.

Earlier this month, a district judge criticised the handling of the case against Steve Kingston, who was arrested after refusing to leave his vessel during last December’s tidal surge.

And the issue was raised again during the borough council’s meeting on Thursday.

West Winch representative Paul Foster, who has previously called for the authority to say sorry, said: “I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the members of the opposition, to unreservedly apologise to Mr Kingston for the distress caused by the council’s actions on that night.”

He asked whether it would have been better for the authorities to do as district judge Peter Veits suggested and say they were not responsible for the operator’s safety if he chose to stay on board his craft.

But council leader Nick Daubney insisted the authority had not had Mr Kingston detained on the night of the surge.

He said safety plans for dealing with emergencies of that sort stated that a manned vessel would not moor at the pontoons on the South Quay, where the ferry was anchored.

He added: “The council wanted that plan to be adhered to for good reason a plan, which, I repeat, served this town well and kept people safe.

“What action took place between the ferry operator and the police this council is not responsible for.

“The judge has made certain comments about the police action. As far as I am aware he has made no comment whatsoever about this council.”