How are the Cam Con
enforcing unregistered boats, particularly unlicenced rowing boats?
Rowing boats are particularly difficult to enforce because
unless you catch them whilst they are out, they are stored in private
boathouses so license stickers cannot be easily checked.
Currently, there are 25 unregistered boats, 9 of which are
going to court next week. However, taking people to court is the worst outcome,
and the Cam Con would rather sort things out before they get to this stage.
Currently trying to liase with the Council to get the fees of those who are
eligible for Housing Benefit paid directly by their benefits
Can the Cam Con make
sure that boats are insured?
One of the conditions of the river licence is that the boat
is insured, so if a boat is uninsured it can’t register and so it will get
taken to court, so it can be enforced indirectly
If a rowing boat
causes damage, can we claim from them?
If you get the time of the incident, colour of the oars and
the code written on the hull, contact either JR or Amy T, and we will be able
to work out which club to contact.
Where should we cross
over at the Cross Over Point?
Best to stay on the side you are on until you can see it is
clear to cross over. University crews work to the rule that boats travelling
upstream have priority so they may expect powered boats to observe this
Council (with Carina O’Reilly [C’OR] and Alistair Wilson
Can we install steps
into the bank to allow safer access to our boats?
No, there are strict rules regarding permanent structures on
common land, the installation of which would result in higher business taxes
which would in turn mean raising our fees. In order to carry out the works
recently to improve the path surfaces, permission was required from the
Secretary of State.
However, it may be possible to install things under a
certain amendment to these rules, as long as they are for general leisure use,
and not specifically for individual boats. CO’R and AW to investigate further.
This will come to the review of river assets which will take place next year
There are parts of
the river bank both on the bank and under the water which need repair is there
a schedule for this?
To repair all of the riverbanks would be too expensive so
repairs will be carried out on an emergency basis. If there are any underwater
obstructions you are aware of, please contact the Cam Con who will try to
Can you update us on
the status of the Riverside moorings?
Have not yet started the task of working out what access needs
to be provided and the Health and Safety liabilities the Council have for the
Riverside moorings. The railings themselves are owned by the County Council.
This piece of work is unlikely to be complete before next summer.
But existing boaters will definitely be allowed to stay.
Some of those paying
Council Tax on the Railings have been advised that they can get a discount, but
that assumes they are paying for something in the first place.
Need to look into the legalities of this, and work out what
to charge boaters for the mooring.
Why are the Council
not enforcing their mooring permit conditions?
Allowing flexibility for those who have complex situations
Few resources to carry our enforcement. New enforcement
officers are being recruited to help with this. Accept that this is a failing,
but that we will see a change in the next 6 months
Are there any ongoing
investigations into boaters not complying with the mooring conditions?
4 or 5 who are paying Council tax elsewhere
2 are believed to be sublet
3 are not believed to be living aboard
Are the Council going
to increase capacity for those with valid mooring permits? Unlicensed boats and
lengths of bank inaccessible.
The stretch of bank between the railway bridge and Morley’s
Holt will be cleared for vegetation
The Cam Con will carry out dredging works to make it deeper
so people can moor.
Illegally moored boats will be cleared, once enforcement
team is expanded
Would the Council
consider creating permanent places for boats?
In the forthcoming review of the river and the moorings
policy, this will be considered
Shuffling up to make
room for all the boats is not an adequate answer to the lack of capacity, we
signed the mooring document saying that we wouldn’t act on behalf of the
Council, and move other people’s boats for them, as it’s illegal.
The mooring contract is not fit for purpose, but we still
need to work to the document we signed until it is improved.
How long will
unregistered, illegally moored boats be allowed to remain on the common?
Need to allow some flexibility but there must be a balance
between the needs of individuals and the safety of the community. Currently on
the wrong side of that balance.
Can we have an
additional elsan disposal point at Stourbridge?
This will be considered in the forthcoming review.
How is Council
housing managed, and can the same principles be applied to boating?
Mooring is not considered in the same way as housing,
although there are similar issues. Need to support vulnerable people but not
allow things like subletting. But no plans to move boating over to be run by
Need to clean the
surface of the waterpoint on Stourbridge
C’OR to follow this up.
In terms of
maintenance of the bank, some would be happy to do it themselves, whereas
others feel the Council should do it.
The Council do see it as their responsibility to maintain
access to the river for the public, so some basic level of bank maintenance will
continue to be carried out.
The Local Council Act
2003 requires that housing provision be made for various minority sectors of
the community (i.e disabled people,
vulnerable adults, the elderly). Would it be possible to add provision for boaters
to the Cambridge Plan?
It would only be possible to make provision for actual land
based houses, boats are not considered housing provision. CO’R to follow this
up as it is not clear what is possible in terms of defining boaters as a type
In council decision
making, we feel that the needs and voices of boaters are often overlooked e.g
when planting trees, their blocking of boaters’ access to solar panels is
Council will try to bear our needs in mind more in the
future, and also work with the Cam Con to achieve more consistency and consideration.
What has happened to
the promise to provide safer mooring points to stop boats coming adrift in the
The emergency ground anchors we asked for have been bought and are in
the Council stores. We will look into the best way to store them.
Longer term, as part of the forthcoming review, mooring
rings will be considered.
Can some of the trees
overhanging boats on the Commons be cut back to improve safety?
On January 5th, Cambridgeshire County Council will begin work on the Fort St George bridge to replace the poisonous lead-based paint. It will be similar to the work on the Green Dragon Bridge, and will involve covering half of the bridge in scaffolding at a time, restricting navigation to the open half.
A traffic light system will be in operation as before, with the lights being placed on the bridge itself. Warning signs will be positioned some way upstream and downstream of the bridge works. Work will continue until April 17th. The bridge will also be closed to pedestrians and cyclists during this time.
Do you have a question for the Council/Cam Con? (of course you do!)
At the Camboaters AGM on the 19th Nov at the Fort St George we will have a Q&A session with
Councillor Carina O'Reilly, Executive Councillor for Streets and Open Spaces, who is in charge of mooring related decisions
Jed Ramsey, River Manager, Cam Conservancy.
AGM business (election of Committee) will start at 7pm
then the Q&A session will be from 8pm.
Topics we hope to cover:
• Issue of un-lived on boats
• Mooring capacity
• Riverside regulation
• Maintaining affordable fees vs. improving facilities
• Flood safety
• Bank repair
If you have any other issues you’d like to raise / specific questions you’d like to ask, email email@example.com. Thanks.
Autumn Newsletter: http://issuu.com/camboaters/docs/camboaters_newsletter_october_2014/1
If you're interested in the future of the Riverside moorings, come to the Haymakers at 7pm this Thursday 26th June. The Executive Councillor in charge of mooring issues, Carina O'Reilly, would like to speak to Riverside boaters (and anyone else interested in the issue) ahead of the Council meeting on July 11th (13:30 at the Guildhall) where a timetable for the future of the moorings will be set out.