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Single occupant boaters on the River Cam hit by council fees change

By Ben Comber

The changes that boaters objected to were not for discussion in the consultation that informed the mooring fees changes.

Some of the boaters who live on the River Cam in Cambridge left the Guildhall in tears on Monday evening as city councillors decided to go ahead with a new moorings policy that will see single occupants lose their discount and boats charged by length.

The payment changes will be implemented on April 1.

Resident Sarah Airey, who has lived by Midsummer Common for two-and-a-half years, said: “The proposed change on single occupancy is a major change and is one that was never mentioned in the consultation.

“Removing the discount will affect two-thirds of licence holders – a clear majority – and it will increase our fees by 33 per cent. For those of us with longer boats, that increase will approach 50 per cent.”

One boater said that he has taken a new job and decided to leave Cambridge, a decision half predicated on the fact that he does not feel he can trust the council.

Labour councillors voted through the new policy, against Liberal Democrat opposition, including regional mayor candidate Rod Cantrill, who described the process as an ‘omnishambles’.

Green Party parliamentary candidate for Cambridge Stuart Tuckwood added: “It’s shocking that a Labour administration is pursuing policies that could increase people’s costs of living by 30-40 per cent and force them out of the city entirely.”

Executive councillor for finance Richard Robertson said no boaters would be made homeless and space had been identified for those who will be moved from Riverside.


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