Belshers Slipway order scrapped - but more talks due

PUBLISHED: 12:30 15 January 2016


District bosses have confirmed they will not go ahead with proposals which could have seen a crackdown on alleged antisocial behaviour by jetskiers at Exmouth Quay.

However, they have resolved to continue discussions to seek a solution to residents’ concerns.

East Devon District Council had considered introducing a Public Space Protection Order at Belshers Slipway and Shelly Beach, but its cabinet decided last week not to proceed with that plan, after consultation. The council says a proposed new harbour patrol boat will help police the area, and also says the eventual reopening of Mamhead Slipway will mitigate the issues at Belshers. However, the cabinet agreed to further talks, following pleas from the Exmouth Quay Residents’ Association (EQRA) for something to be done.

Roy Pickering, EQRA’s spokesman on the issue, told the cabinet: “Surely it is not unreasonable for people directly and regularly affected to ask for some measure of control of antisocial behaviour, when the perpetrators simply refuse to respond responsibly and sensibly to voluntary codes of conduct, or to polite personal approach.

“Ultimately, there is a risk that someone will be killed - and then all hell will be let loose.

“Children snorkelling among speeding jetskiers is a deadly mix, vehicles speeding across a much-used walkway intersection is inviting a tragedy.”

Councillor Eileen Wragg, a cabinet member who represents Exmouth’s town ward, said she had spoken to ‘responsible jetskier’ Ian Cudd, who previously organised a voluntary code of conduct.

Cllr Wragg said: “He would like to help resolve the problems and would be willing to work with residents and this council to achieve that aim.”

Supporting further talks, council leader Paul Diviani said: “I think this is one of those problems where everyone works in a disparate direction, and what we have to do is get everyone working together.

“If you do that then I’m sure there’s a solution to be found.”

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