A ‘huge hike’ in mooring fees has been postponed and reduced following ‘loud rumblings of dissent’ from the Plymouth sailing clubs and mooring representatives and negotiations with Plymouth City Council (PCC).
Around 150 people packed into an urgent meeting about the issue on 1 March, when the price increase was due to come into effect.
Proposed price increases varied across multiple price bands for differing sized boats. PCC manages 493 boat moorings around Plymouth, 439 of which are owned by the Duchy of Cornwall or the Ministry of Defence.
Sailing clubs were facing an increase of more than 100% for tidal moorings, from £95.43 to £230 and from £193.04 to £360 for deep water moorings.
The council said the marine mooring fees have not been increased outside of annual inflation for more than eight years and the changes would have brought them in line with similar service providers.
A PBO reader said: ‘People were incensed that the City Council sought to impose these swingeing increases without any consultation.’
Following negotiations between representatives of PCC and mooring representatives including the Port of Plymouth Sailing Association (PPSA), a ‘joint agreement’ has now been made.
A Plymouth City Council spokesperson said: ‘The changes we announced in February aimed to make our boat mooring fees more consistent and bring them in line with current market rates.
‘Apart from annual inflation, fees had not been increased for more than eight years and a comparison exercise showed they had fallen far below the rates charged by similar providers in other areas (including local authorities).
‘A number of boat owners, sailing clubs and associations raised concerns about the timing of the fee increases and the way they had been set, so we agreed to meet with them and discuss the issue in more detail.
‘As a result of these meetings we jointly agreed to apply a smaller increase of nine per cent for 2016/17, discuss their concerns further and set fees for 2017/18 by September, which will give them plenty of notice to plan the year ahead.
‘We also agreed to establish a representative group, through which we will explore opportunities for further collaborative working and enhancing our marine offer.’
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