Boat owners facing eviction set to meet MP Jim Paice

BOAT dwellers who have been given notice to quit their berths at the Fish and Duck Marina are due to meet MP Jim Paice on Friday, in the hope he can help their plight.

Families living on the river near Little Thetford are being forced to leave the marina by January 9 so refurbishment work can be carried out - and there will be no full time moorings available when it reopens in the spring.

One of the residents who will meet the South East Cambs MP said this week: “We hope he can help to get our notice period extended to beyond January at the very least.

“We also hope he can persuade the marina owners to reconsider their decision to ask us to leave.”

According to the resident, there are still 40 boats who have not found new moorings, leaving about 60 people facing the prospect of homelessness.

“There is a mood of despair around the marina,” she said. “Some people are quite tearful, as they wonder what will happen to them. They may have to leave their jobs and children may be forced to change schools.”

Some boat owners are considering the use of 48-hour moorings in Ely, but they have to be vacated for seven days between visits.

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“Even if we just float up and down the river, or go to other marinas that are technically not residential, there are just not enough moorings available,” said the resident.

Marina owners James and Davina Harvey are planning a wide scale improvement scheme for the site, including new moorings and improvements to roadways and river banks. They say it is necessary for the area to be cleared of boats while renovation work is undertaken, for safety reasons and because the water and electricity supplies will be disconnected.