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        8 April, 2019

        New Scheme in place to ensure increased safety for Water User Groups in Thanet

        There are revisions to Thanet’s existing water user scheme. The changes are designed to support its current members and to enhance safety. Access to the water, via the barriers and slipways, will be limited to authorised members of the Thanet Water Users Group.

        The new scheme will require current and future members to agree to updated rules related to key holding and water access. It requires all water users to sign up to a code of conduct, pay an annual fee and provide evidence of third party Marine Public Liability Insurance in order to receive a key.

        The yearly fee of £60 per craft is reduced to £30 when an individual submits their application via an approved Thanet Water Users Club e.g. fishing club, yacht club, water ski club etc. The move has been welcomed by Water User Clubs who are facilitating group applications for all of their members.

        The new fees and charges will result in a more cost effective provision of this service and will contribute towards the scheme’s management expenses. This includes the cost of replacing padlocks and keys, repairing damaged barrier gates, maintenance i.e. cleaning the algae from slipways and steps, signage and slipway repair and other activity designed to enhance the safety of members and in time, improve the water users’ overall experience.

        The scheme, first introduced in 1997, was designed to ensure that water users comply with key health and safety regulations, including the controlled the use of motor vehicles along the promenade, where this is prohibited. It resulted in less household waste and fewer vehicles being dumped on the promenades and beaches.

        A review of the scheme in 2018 demonstrated that in recent years there had been a rise in barrier keys in circulation. The new scheme aims to ensure that all users are authorised and committed to abiding by the Water User Group rules and regulations. Existing registered key holders have all been contacted in writing to advise them of the new scheme.

        The padlocks will be fitted from May onwards. The emergency services and other agencies such as the RNLI and Coastguard will be provided with new keys enabling them to open the secure barriers in the event of an emergency.

        Anyone wishing to become a member of the Thanet Water Users Group can apply online

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