Council leader's 'lunatic' apology

COUNCIL leader's Paul Waggott's apology in full.

"I'm sorry if my internal e-mail has caused offence to any member of the public.

"Please accept that it was not meant that way.

"I sent it in the heat of the moment because I felt frustrated and concerned, because it appeared to me that in some cases, political activists were attempting to manipulate the meeting for their own ends and turn the council meeting into an endurance test, rather than a reasoned debate.

"I do welcome contributions from members of the public and I do value their opinions; and this council has a good reputation for trying hard to listen to our communities, and for its commitment to responding.

"I have served as a councillor for almost 21 years, and I've have been the leader for more than 10, and I have always had nothing but the greatest respect for the views of the communities of this borough.

"I hope that they will see through the politics of this latest 'row' and look at what we have achieved, and what we want to achieve, for the benefit of everyone in South Tyneside."