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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 January 2007, 14:45 GMT
GP attacked for remarks over Rhyl
Dr Richard Landon
Dr Landon said problems started with people moving years ago
A GP has been criticised for saying parts of a seaside resort are "infested" with former prisoners and people with mental health problems.

Dr Richard Landon has said he is sticking to his views, despite one Rhyl councillor branding them "appalling".

Dr Landon said he believed the town's West End was among the most deprived areas in Wales because of an influx of people with "no moral values".

Cllr Joan Butterfield said she was shocked at the "sweeping statement."

Dr Landon made the controversial comments during a Rhyl town council meeting last week.

He was asked why he thought Rhyl's West End was ranked as the second most deprived area in Wales, according to the Welsh Index of multiple deprivation.

He told the meeting it was because the town was infested with former prisoners and people with mental health problems.

They have no moral values, and they are getting pregnant and it's a vicious circle
Dr Richard Landon

Defending the comments, he said: "I told the council that it was due to certain elements who've moved into the town.

"I wasn't making a judgement, I was just stating the facts.

"You get people coming here who have no intention of ever working - people from prison, people with long term mental illnesses - because it is where they can find accommodation."

'Lovely place'

He said the problems began many years ago when people began moving to the Denbighshire town from deprived inner city areas to live in flats and other accommodation in the West End.

He said: "One hotel advertised in Birmingham and you would get a family living on a council estate who would move to Rhyl.

"It attracted the most awful kind of people. I see their children now. They have no moral values, and they are getting pregnant and it's a vicious circle.

Near Rhyl seafront
I will not have anyone downgrade our town
Cllr Diana Hannam

"I often think it is amazing to have a patient join my practice who has a family who work and who all have the same surname.

"I love Rhyl, that's whay I've lived here 30 years. But there are some areas with problems - just like any other towns.

"It's not the environment, it's the kind of people. The low moral values and the break up of family values."

Dr Landon, who has 3,000 patients at his surgery, said he was hopeful the situation would improve and said the town council was working hard to make things better.

Some councillors were outraged by the comments.

Councillor Joan Butterfield told the meeting: "I'm absolutely appalled by the moral judgement that has been put on Rhyl West."

She added that she would be seeking a meeting with the doctor.

Councillor Diana Hannam, who was born and bred in Rhyl, said: "What he's saying is a reflection on society today, this is not peculiar to Rhyl.

She added: "It's a lovely place to live - no wonder people want to come here. I will not have anyone down grade our town."

A spokesperson for Denbighshire County Council said they were working hard at regenerating Rhyl.

She added: "It is the case that people move in and create additional pressure on Council services, however we continue to provide these services successfully."

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