Today Tim Campbell (leader of the campaign to Save Independent Punting) received a phone call from Emma Wynne (former independent punt operator) expressing her concern that the current publicity campaign to save independent punting could have a detrimental effect on independent punt operators by angering the Cambridge City Council and likened it to commercial suicide.
She suggested that she had spoken to Alastair Roberts (Safer Communities Section Manager, Cambridge City Council) and he had informed her that the La Mimosa punt station would be available within the next 2-3 days (that sounds familiar…) and that we would all be receiving letters very soon.
She stated that independent punt operators had not been involved with the consultation process because we are “illegal” and not stakeholders and that we should be grateful for whatever we are offered by the council and not to question it.
During the meeting on 17th January Debbie Kaye of Cambridge City Council stated that the council had used a list of commercial licence holders supplied by the Cam Conservators during the consultation process (although no one on the list received the consultation document).
Following the meeting Debbie Kaye expressed concern that we had not been consulted and claimed it was an oversight.
Emma Wynne went on to claim that Alastair Roberts and the council had sufficient evidence (video, eyewitness, etc) to secure injunctions against independent punt operators for trespass on Jesus Green (common land owned by the council) and that these injunctions could be obtained within 3 days.
She reiterated her concern that the current campaign is not representative of the views of independent punt operators and that it would damage the prospects of applicants for licences on the La Mimosa station.
It is the assertion of Tim Campbell that if the process of granting licences is to be fair and transparent then no harm can be done by drawing public attention to the matter. On the other hand, if this campaign is in someway damaging to his (or anyone else by association’s) chances of securing a licence then clearly the process is not fair or transparent and Cambridge City Council are acting improperly and have something to hide.