Thursday, February 24, 2011

Message from the Cam Conservators

Dear Camboaters

As requested in your e-mail dated 28th January, Camboaters' letter and
significant points were included in the paper which was circulated to
Conservators ahead of their Special Meeting on 16th February at the Guildhall,
Cambridge.

To confirm the decision taken on 16th February and to reassure your membership,
please be informed that the Conservators have agreed to defer the implementation
of any new licensing options until their full committee meeting in January 2012.

The period between now and then will be used to commission a professional
consultancy study into an economic valuation of the Cam navigation. A
consultancy brief will be prepared for Conservators to agree at their meeting on
14th April.

The study will look into the differing uses of the navigation, fair charging and
proportionate contributions to maintain the Conservators' income base and their
projected capital expenditure needs. It is anticipated that once a consultant
has been engaged, there will be a period of public consultation, between
September 2011 and January 2012, to provide boat users and other stakeholders
with ample opportunity to comment.

The Conservators are also sharing discussions with the Environment Agency about
the interchange agreement. The Minister's decision on the future of the Agency's
navigations will be announced on 28th February, and this may colour any
negotiations which take place over the next year.

It is easy to overlook the fact that all of the serving Conservators are
volunteers. This represents a huge business saving to the Conservancy.
Camboaters already provides a voluntary contribution to the board via the
attendance of Luther Phillips.

The Conservators also engage the service of volunteers (e.g. lock garden
maintenance at Baits Bite and Jesus Green). An expansion of voluntary activities
is hindered, ironically, by the lack of supervisory capacity within the present
administration to manage extra, and willing, pairs of hands in accordance with
safe working practices.

Camboaters' voluntary efforts with the Great Cam Clean Up are much appreciated
as a contribution to the river crew's routine rubbish clearance of the river and
towpath. We look forwards to joining your members on Saturday 26th March with a
shared purpose of seeing the river maintained to its best for all of its users
to enjoy.

On behalf of the Conservators.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Philippa E. Noon
River Manager

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