The Council Reply!

Below is the response from the City Council to the letter sent by Taylor Vinters solicitors on 6th February 2008 on behalf of independent punt operators. There is no new information in this response and it took over a month for the council to send it. An excellent example of their poor communication with independent punt operators.

7th March 2008

Our Ref JC/legal/AR/RE
Your Ref CDAF

Dear Sirs

Punt Operation in the city of Cambridge

Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee 8 February 2008

I refer to your letter of 6 February, which was considered by the Committee on 8 February. I enclose for your information a copy of the decision made by the Leader of the Council.

I will comment on your numbered paragraphs in turn.

Paragraph 1.

I note what you say but the city Council is not responsible for regulating the market for punt hire.

Paragraph 2.

One of the effects of the Council’s policy may be to reduce the number of commercial punts. However, this is not why the Council is pursuing its policy.
Properly licensed punts may operate on the river without interference by the City Council provided that they do so lawfully and, particularly in this context, without trespassing on City Council land.

Paragraph 3.

Noted. There are various strands that we are pursuing with regard to touting . We will keep the effectiveness of our actions under review.

Paragraph 4.

The proposals in relation to the La Mimosa Landing Stage will permit use by those independent operators who are successful in obtaining authorisations to operate from the Landing Stage. Your comment with regard to the use of Quayside is noted.

Paragraph 5.

We believe that we have resolved the dispute with Scudamores regarding La Mimosa and anticipate that it will be available very shortly to selected independent operators. Application packs for La Mimosa Landing Stage are in the course of preparation and will be sent out to operators who have expressed an interest in operating from the Landing Stage.

Paragraph 6.

We note what you say. We do not accept that the actions of the Council in any way infringe your clients’ rights under Article 1 of the First Protocol.

Yours faithfully

Jane Connell

Principal Solicitor


Record of Executive Decision

Punt operation in the city of Cambridge
Decision of: The Leader

Reference: 08/SR/Feb 01

Date of decision: 8 February 2008 (recorded on 15 February 2008)
Decision Type: Key

Matter for Decision: To agree a package or measures relating to punt operation.

Why the decision had to be made (and any alternative options): The Council needed to take decisions to enable better management of punt operations in the city.

The Executive Councillor’s decision(s):

  1. To approve enforcement action by the Council as landowner to prevent the use of Jesus Green river frontage and other land fronting the River Cam owned by the Council for the purpose of, commercial punt operation without the express written consent of the Council.
  2. To commence enforcement from the beginning of the 2008 punting season.
  3. To acknowledge the work of officers to put in place alternatives to address the current situation.
  4. To endorse the decisions of Ex Cllr for Arts and Recreation on 17 January with regard to mooring along Jesus Green river frontage and of Leader (for Ex Cllr for CS&R) on 21 January with regard to licensing independent punt operators at La Mimosa Landing Stage.

Reasons for the decision: These are set out in the officer report, agenda item 4 Strategy & Resources Scrutiny Committee 8/2/08.

Reports: As above.

Conflicts of interest: No conflicts of interest were declared by any member of the Executive.

Comments: Also to read Scrutiny Committee minutes for debate/public questions.