Harbour fees: planned rise is just not fair

RE your article ‘Harbour fee set at twice rate of inflation’:

Scarborough Boat Angling Club who have almost 100 members strongly oppose this proposed price rise for the following reasons.

The current rate of inflation is 2.7 per cent, a 5 per cent rise at this time is both outrageous and unfair. Year upon year our members are subjected to increased harbour fees well above the rate of inflation. Our membership and many other working class people are suffering continual financial hardship due to the current economic climate. Private sector businesses would be unable to unreasonably inflate their prices to this extent without criticism, contest or public outcry.

Cllr Mike Cockerill reportedly states that the proposed increase is necessary in order to fund future improvements at the harbour. Our members feel that their annual fees have continued to rise annually well above the rate of inflation, but facilities have failed to improve and some have even declined. We consider that leisure craft owners should not be expected to fund years of council mismanagement, neglect, under-investment and poor maintenance.

Once again we hear the age old statement “if you don’t like it leave,” we feel this arrogant outdated attitude is politically questionable in this day and age and totally unacceptable within a democratic society.

Councillors and council officials should be reminded that they are accountable to their electorate. In this age of imposed austerity council officials will in the future be closely scrutinised by their customers. Those customers will expect accounting transparency, fairness, respect and value for money.

Ken Gaches

Vice chairman

Scarborough Boat Angling Club

Harewood Avenue

Scarborough