Protest over eviction notice for Carlisle park boat man
Last updated at 11:45, Monday, 01 October 2012
A boat operator has launched a campaign after being told he is being evicted from a storeroom.
David Hetherington has run the boats at Hammond’s Pond in Carlisle for 13 years but is now facing difficulties after the city council told him to remove his property from a storage unit.
Mr Hetherington argues that the eviction will mean he cannot run the boats, and decided to protest outside the Civic Centre along with fellow campaigner John Denholm.
The protest, on Friday, involved putting a boat outside the building and boards bearing the letters SOB – for Save our Boats – as well as a coffin lid.
Mr Hetherington said: “We are trying to save something for the children.
“The boats are available to everybody and I enjoy running them.
“This campaign will go on as long as I walk the earth.”
Mr Denholm said: “They will probably evict us now but we will carry on our protest.”
The pair argue that the council is trying to force him out of the storage space and that without this he will be unable to put on the service for visitors.
But the city council say that the problem centres around Mr Hetherington putting dangerous and flammable items in the store that breach safety rules.
A Carlisle City Council spokeswoman said: “We couldn’t turn a blind eye to the fact that unauthorised materials were being stored by Mr Hetherington at Hammond’s Pond. These caused great concern as some of the items were flammable and could have been a potential risk to the public visiting the park.
“We simply want to use own store for efficient management of the park and the tenancy agreement with Mr Hetherington has lapsed a number of years ago. Items such as gas cylinders and petrol cans were being kept alongside welding torches, which is in breach of health and safety regulations.
“Mr Hetherington has operated the rowing boats at Hammond’s Pond for a number of years and there’s no suggestion that this should not continue, this issue was purely with regards to the store and its future usage. We believe that he could still continue to operate his business without the use of the store.”
First published at 11:26, Monday, 01 October 2012
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
Have your say
Would it not be safer for the boats to be locked up than left in the lake inviting teenagers to play on?? Especially with winter coming along.
My husband and I moved here only 5 months ago and our children love the boats. We'd never get there where we moved from. It's fantastic. I think the council are being rather over the top and unfair. You just can't do anything these days! The fact that this man dedicates his time and energy in proving a service at such low costs is great and I think he should be appreciated for his efforts. Local people would be saddened if the boats were to stop. The council need to think about the consequences
I would like to say I have used the boats now for over 20 years, when I took my daughter recently Mr Hetherington was absolutely brilliant, he looked after us really weell and I think it will be a sorry miss if he has to stop working on the pond
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