SECTION 106 CASH: Water taxi introduces people to town centre

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Having read with interest the ongoing debate regarding how the Section 106 monies relating to the Springfields development are to be spent, I think it would be sensible to clarify a number of points with regard to the Spalding Water Taxi Company.

Firstly, the application for funding a mooring at Chain Bridge Forge was not made by the Water Taxi Company; our only involvement is the possible construction of the mooring and to liaise regarding timetabling stops.

Secondly, we did make an application for funding but were rejected before the point scoring exercise. Historically we have received funding from the 106 monies, but will definitely not do so on this occasion.

Thirdly, regarding linking the service to town, I do not wish to become involved in lengthy exchanges regarding specific coach parties, however I can confirm each year we transport 12,000 passengers, the majority of these travel on a return ticket; clearly showing that we do introduce people to the town centre. Furthermore the Water Taxi raises the profile of the town in wider ways than just bringing people into the town centre; the national and regional exposure and the distinctive branding opportunity are just a couple that springs to mind.

Finally, from a personal perspective I can see that all of the short listed schemes have their merits and have no personal preference for any of them above any other; however it is clear that there is not enough money to fund them all and so ultimately some will fall by the wayside.

I am sure that those making the final decision would prefer to finance them all but simply cannot.

Ian Canham

Spalding Water Taxi Company