Boat charges brought down

NORTH Somerset Council has been praised for 'listening' to Weston boat owners and changing a controversial boat permit initiative. The local authority announced last month that it wanted to introduce a new scheme for any motor powered water craft owner wh

NORTH Somerset Council has been praised for 'listening' to Weston boat owners and changing a controversial boat permit initiative.The local authority announced last month that it wanted to introduce a new scheme for any motor powered water craft owner who wanted to launch their boat off the slipway at Knightstone Island.Anyone captaining a vessel was told they would have to buy a permit, at the cost of £60 for an individual and £54 for each additional driver, £70 for a two-parent family and £67 for a one-parent family.But Peter Nicholls, who lives in Bleadon and has launched his 17ft ski boat from Knightstone Island's slipway for the last 30 years, says he met with council officers and has now been told of a scheme that is 'fair for everyone.'Mr Nicholls, who owns Peter J Nicholls Photography, said: "The original scheme involved a £60 annual fee but this has been lowered to £32 per year. An annual family permit for two adults and two children will be £40, a day pass will be £7.50 and additional drivers will be charged £6 per year." North Somerset Council officials said the idea to introduce further costs for boat owners is to help it make sure everyone has the right insurance because the correct documents have to be produced in order to get a permit.A spokesman said: "The figures the Mercury has received are correct."The scheme has been introduced to ensure safe use of the facilities by Knightstone Island."Concerns were expressed over the original plans and we invited users to come forward with ideas. We considered the concerns raised and came up with an alternative arrangement."We are now asking for comments on the new proposals.


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