Wednesday 17th July 2024,
North Yorks Enquirer

“Let’s Not Bother”

Guest Author BOB ROBERTS sums up SBC’s lackadaisical attitude to Health & Safety.

The response by SBC with regard to the end of the “Swan Princess” boat-trips around Peasholm Lake raises some interesting points on just how this Council thinks and operates.

When challenged by Mr Allan Roberts to produce the compliance documentation applicable to the “Swan Princess”, based on a business model that it would  seem all other Councils and businesses across the country, including York, Knaresborough and the Lake District, who all run boat-trips it seems Scarborough Borough Council appear not to have taken their Duty of Care very seriously at all.
After a number of years of running the “Swan Princess” around Peasholm, SBC have decided to end what to many families would have been an enjoyable experience. However, there was also coupled to that an enjoyable an expiation that  SBC as a supposedly responsible council would like any corporate body in the 21st Century that anything they did they would want to do it right and do it safely.

Obviously not in the case of the “Swan Princess”. When SBC were challenged to produce the documentation that all other responsible local authorities and companies are happy to comply with, SBC have quite simply pulled the operation of the “Swan Princess” altogether.

Quite obviously, the Scarborough Borough Council ethos on Health & Safety is this:

“If we have to do it right and do it safe, then its something we are unable to do at all”.  

Why this service to the public was shelved is obvious: the cost of making it safe to operate within the limitations of marine legislation under which it falls was obviously to much for this Council to bear.

At the last Council meeting (Monday 3rd September),however, another reason was quoted – along with the assertion that the “Swan Princess” has lost £8,000 over a period of 3 years! That seems to be a pretty lame excuse for shutting down what is undoubtedly a popular amenity operating within one of Scarborough’s most treasured seasonal attractions.

So £8,000 over 3 years? How will that compare to the OAT when its operating loss for this year alone will run to £240,000! When will SBC decide to abandon that project and cut Cuffe & Taylor loose and run it free of Council taxpayers’ subsidy?
Returning to the “Swan Princess”, though surely any worthy and responsible company, organisation or local authority should operate on a “If we can’t do it right, if we can’t do it safely, then we don’t do it at all!”.

Here in Scarborough, it seems to me that the mantra – or even the ethic – is this:

“If we have to do it right and if we have to comply with the law, then we just won’t bother doing it!”
Pretty shocking, really, and illustrates just how this Council thinks and operates. No revenue, then no effort.

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