September 2 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, May 8, 2014
A rising tide of discontent is threatening to muddy the waters of a picturesque Suffolk quayside.
Members of Orford’s boating community say they have been treated as “second-class citizens” by those running the village quay – whereas sailors and yacht owners are offered “preferential treatment”.
Alistair Shaw, who keeps a small fishing boat in Orford, said: “They would bend over backwards for the yacht owners whereas they don’t do anything for us – and we’re the ones who use the quay all year round.
“I cannot understand their attitude – they should be trying to make the quay more vibrant but it’s like they want to keep it as a closed shop.”
The 60-year-old boat owner claims New Orford Town Trust (NOTT) – which manages the quay –- has delayed renewing his slipway licence. Several boaters say they have become so frustrated by their treatment on they quay that they have moved elsewhere.
David Sharman, 75, now moors his boat in Shotley, claiming complaints about damage went unheeded “If you’re from the sailing fraternity they cannot help you enough but with the boats it’s the exact opposite.”
Steve Roe, another boater, also claims to have complained to NOTT about the repeated damage to his craft. But with little action, he said: “It seems like we’re being treated as second class citizens. The feeling amongst people from Orford is that they’re being pushed to one side so newcomers can take over.”
Kara Read, NOTT’s clerk, said: “If people want to come to us with an issue of course we will try to deal with it, either as an individual or a group, but without specific complaints it’s hard to follow up.”