The County council Highways department are in the process of doing some repair and renovation work to the boardwalk. The work
was scheduled to start earlier and last for 21 days. As part of the work the La Mimosa landing stage is going to be redone prior
to its opening. The current expected opening date will be around the first week in May.
The City council, in a meeting with the independent punt operators offered spaces on the La Mimosa punt station, agreed to
review the touting zone. Overall the tone of the meeting was positive and the Council’s response was welcomed by those in
Following the main meeting, Tim Campbell and Jamie Collinson were
asked to stay behind for a further meeting with John Cowin,
Phil Doggett and Alastair Roberts. During this meeting the City council
officers made reference to Freedom of Information requests
that had been made to the City council and requested that they either be
scaled down or withdrawn.
The City council agreed to reduce the public liability requirement to £3m based on information from a number of independent punt operators. This was broadly welcomed by those concerned.
Tim Campbell will be doing an interview on 209 Radio at about 4:30pm on Friday 18th April 2008 about the current status of independent punting.
So much for freedom of information… The City council have refused to provide any of the information requested in a Freedom of information request submitted by Tim Campbell on 13th March 2008. The request was as follows:
“All correspondence and minutes of meetings between Scudamores Punting Company and their solicitors Pinsent Mason and Cambridge City council (officers, councilors) and their solicitors.” between October 2007 and the date the request was submitted.
The request was denied on the grounds that “the information that has been requested falls within the legal professional privilege exemption.” All the information apparently, not one single thing isn’t covered by it…
The successful applicants for places on the La Mimosa station received their notifications this morning along with their total number of spaces they have been allocated. Initially it would appear that spaces have been allocated for 7 ferry punts and either 6 or 7 single punts.
If 7 single punt spaces have been allocated then it would mean that the City council have made more space available than they originally intended. In total either 8 or 9 independent punt operators have been offered spaces.
The City council appear (for the most part) to have chosen people with a proven track record of working as independent punt operators. This would seem to indicate that they are trying to ensure the success of the project. However, they have still not shown any intent to change the touting zone before the station opens, something that is key to the commercial success of the operators who will use it.
Tim Campbell does an interview with 209 Radio.
The broadcast date has yet to be finalised but we will let you know as soon as it has and we are hoping to get hold of a copy that we can make available for download.
An opinion piece written by Tim Campbell on the current situation and an associated survey have been published by Local Secrets (website is no longer active).
Have your say about what is going on, it will be interesting to see what the results are.
Not much is happening at the moment.
It feels like the calm before the storm.
Scudamores staff on Quayside have started to interfere with independent’s touts and steal their customers more aggressively; a couple of independent punt operators have received letters from the City council about their boats being used on Jesus Green and the weekend weather continues to conspire against anyone trying to earn a living. However the fireworks have yet to start…
Ok so I’m sure that everyone will have realised but just in case; the statement in our earlier post is in fact an April fool and sadly the City council have shown no sign of moderating their position or listening to reason.
With the deadline for applications tomorrow, bizarrely Phil Doggett (Property and Building Services) is on holiday for the next 10 days or so.
Why is this bizarre? Well that is the department at the City council the applications are to be returned to and he is in charge of the department. It would appear he is going to be on holiday for the entire time the applications are processed and the successful applicants chosen…
In a surprise turnaround the City council have agreed to drop all touting restrictions for independents and allow as many punts as operators require to be used from the La Mimosa station.
Additionally they have declared that Scudamores will not be allowed any touts on Quayside because of their favourable position.