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Deputies Dispute Mooring Fee Hikes

Nine deputies are lodging a motion to annul mooring fee increases which could see some local boatowners paying up to 45% more.

The group says the States’ Trading Supervisory Board's fee increases - of between 17% and 45% depending on the size of the vessel - are 'just too much'.

They propose a 10% across-the-board rise in fees instead. This 'compromise' has been discussed with the Guernsey Boatowners’ Association which has indicated it would not challenge it.

The Deputies behind the move are Chris Blin, David de Lisle, John Dyke, Steve Falla, John Gollop, Victoria Oliver, Gavin St Pier, Lyndon Trott and Simon Vermeulen.

Deputy Victoria Oliver, who also partially owns a boat, says STSB has relied on irrelevant comparisons to suggest increases:

"Our port is quite unique. It’s tidal and there are very few facilities, whereas I know STSB are looking at the south of England where it’s just so different.  So they’re basing it (the fees) on figures that are just not appropriate for our Guernsey harbour really."

She has been speaking with members of the Guernsey Boat Owner Association:

"It wasn’t a few people that were sort of moaning and grumbling - it was the entire lot saying that the fees here are too high.

Many people I have spoken to are thinking of selling their boats as a result of these fee increases.

I think a lot of people have this image that everybody  is sailing 60-foot boats in Guernsey, but that’s not true. 40% of boats in the marina are under 20 feet.

Deputy Gavin St. Pier says the annulment, which will be included in next week's States meeting, was their only option:

“States’ rules do not allow us to amend the regulations, so we cannot table this as our own alternative solution.

However, if the Assembly does agree to annul the mooring charges, the STSB will still have plenty of time to return with fresh regulations to increase fees by 10% from 1 April 2024.”

Last month the Guernsey Boatowners Association said it would appeal to the competitions regulator about the higher fees.

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