Council refuses plans to explore improving boat facilities in King’s Lynn
PUBLISHED: 19:51 10 September 2020 | UPDATED: 19:51 10 September 2020
Plans to explore options to make visiting King’s Lynn by boat “a more attractive option” have been refused by councillors.
A motion to reinstate the river working group at King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council (KLWNBC) has been refused after councillors raised concerns around expense and the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Independent group leader Sandra Squire submitted a motion to the council to reform the group.
She said: “Before the extension of the pontoons was a reality, there was a working group looking at options, including better facilities for boat users.
“Now the work has commenced and is nearing completion, now is the time for the council to draw from the wealth of experience on its benches. It’s time for councillors to be involved with decisions on what can be done to make visiting King’s Lynn by boat a more attractive option.
“Visitors will be helping our local economy and making us a more vibrant town. Let’s not abandon the river now because we have the A47 and the railway.”
And independent councillor Alexandra Kemp, who seconded the motion, added: “I was in two minds - but in actual fact I think we’ve got a tremendous offer and we’re going to be enhancing our riverside offer.”
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While independent member Simon Nash added: “We must have the most underused river estuary in the UK and for these reasons I support the motion.”
But Labour councillor Christine Hudson said: “It’s alright putting these facilities in but to build a block of toilets, and showers etc.
“This is quite a large thing you’re asking us to build and it would be exceedingly expensive.
“We would have to charge considerably to make it break even. We can’t afford to spend more money on the quay. Are we throwing good money after bad?
And council leader Brian Long said it was “premature” and the work was “already in hand”.
Conservative councillor Staurt Dark added: “I’d feel more comfortable around something like this if we weren’t in the middle of the recovery phase of what we’ve just gone through. It’s the timing of this that I’m out on.”
But independent councillor Jim Moriarty said: “We’ve been asked to set up a working group. We’re exploring if it’s worthwhile - not spending the money.”
Councillors refused the motion, with 11 members voting in favour, 36 against, and three abstentions.
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