TIME TO HAVE YOUR SAY ON RIVER MOORINGS
A TWELVE-WEEK consultation on proposals to change the way Cambridge City Council manages moorings alongside its land by the River Cam gets under way on 27 October.
The consultation invites views on a number of elements of the council’s approach to moorings.
As well as being a treasured feature of the city, the Cam has become one of the busiest inland waterways in the UK and is a popular destination for a wide range of recreational activities.
The council has already listened to the views of a number of river boat dwellers through public questions at committee and at full council meetings.
It wishes to apologise to those people who felt the first draft of the consultation document, considered at committee, was not sufficiently clear, and who thought it gave an inaccurate picture of those living on the river.
The council fully recognises the community of people living on the river and their contribution to Cambridge society, and wishes to engage positively with them, and with other river users, in setting future moorings policy.
The consultation document seeks to make very clear the council’s intention to support those people who live on the river, not only during the consultation but through its services delivered day to day.
The consultation asks river users, residents and others to give views on a series of proposals including:
Basing mooring licence fees on boat length
The council currently charges a licence fee irrespective of boat length. Previous consultations have shown boaters with smaller vessels believe this to be unfair and research shows that in other parts of the country there are different fees according to boat length.
Responding to safety concerns by stopping mooring at the Riverside wall
A number of options have been reviewed in the past but no feasible solution has been found to provide cost-effective, safe access to and from moored boats and the adjoining river wall on this part of the river. Residents have rightly expressed concern, and the consultation seeks to consider how the council could mitigate the impact on those currently using the area. Any boat we have regulated to moor at Riverside wall which has people living aboard will be offered alternative moorings on the Cam and will not lost their home.
Reviewing the fees charged for mooring on council land
The council has previously committed to reviewing fees and charges to ensure that they are fair. Charges should not only cover the costs of operating the mooring service, but make a contribution to the services provided by the council to the wider Cambridge community.
The location, type and number of mooring berths, provision for visitor moorings and penalties for those who overstay, a revised enforcement policy and ways of managing mooring waiting lists are among other topics covered in the consultation.
Cllr Richard Robertson, Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources, said: “This is an open consultation and no outcomes have been assumed or decisions made. Every comment we receive will be carefully considered and used to inform and shape the final policy, which will be presented to councillors.
“We are absolutely committed to listening to people’s views and to working closely with all those directly affected by these proposals.
“It’s really important that we have a clear and transparent approach to moorings because the Cam is a very busy waterway and an important part of our city environment.
“This consultation is about being open and fair to boaters, residents and other river users.”
A report is set to be presented to Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee on 23 March informing councillors about the outcomes of the consultation and the council’s revised River Cam moorings policy.
The consultation will run until 20 January and details will be published on the council’s website at www.cambridge.gov.uk. Printed details are available by calling Tracy Okten on 01223 457478.
The consultation began on 27 October and will ask river users, residents and others to put forward their views on a number of proposals including: