Response to Cambridge Evening News article

27th February 2008

To whom it may concern

In response to your article published on Saturday with regards to the proposed ban on independent punters using Jesus Green.
Please publish my letter supplied below. It is my belief (along with that of many people who have provided comments on the petition) that Scudamores Punting company have been heavily influencing the council’s decisions and I have access to a number of letters written by their solicitors campaigning vehemently to have us shut down altogether. These letters are in the public domain and were available at council meetings. I would be happy to discuss these matters further with yourselves. We are in correspondence with the council and wish to work with them to resolve this matter. We will be presenting the petitions to them shortly and hope that this could be covered by your publication.

For your letters page:

I am the leader of the ‘Save Independent Punting’ campaign.
The petition now has around 1000 signatures.

We are not against regulation in the punting industry, especially with the view of reducing the problem of nuisance touts.

Despite the 40 complaints last year not one prosecution was brought for aggressive touting. It would appear that rather than use the existing byelaw the City Council are making independent punters the scapegoat. There is no evidence to indicate that independent touts are responsible for causing these complaints. The Council are acting in a way that effectively kills competition. Competition benefits both business and the consumer by keeping standards high and prices competitive.

Once again we see an example of small business owners being forced out of the market. At present we have not been given firm details as to when (or if) a viable alternative will be provided.

If these proposals are successful a large number of people will lose their jobs. Scudamores lease on the La Mimosa station ran out in October 2007 and they have been in a legal battle with the City over it since then. What possible final details could they be tying up?

Tim Campbell
Leader Save Independent Punting campaign