Thousands support the Mudeford Watersports Company, which attacked the BCP Council for replacing it with a new operator that “provides far fewer activities.”
Kathryn and Nick May say Shore Sports will be left “literally high and dry” with no place to operate after another company was selected to take over the contract from next April.
May said losing the bid was a “huge blow” and he understood that the new provider would offer a “significant reduction” in activity.
An online petition calling for the revival of shore sports has gathered over 3,000 signatures and many supporters have left positive comments about shore sports.
But the BCP Council said it pursued “the best possible service and financial outcome for the local people.”
“We know the BCP Council needs to focus on getting the best service at the best price, but they made a mistake here,” May told A&T.
“We offer sailing, windsurfing, paddle boarding, kayaking and raft building for people of all ages and abilities. We wanted to offer wingfoiling again next year.
“I understand that the new provider does not offer sailing or windsurfing. These are some of our most popular activities, so I don’t understand what’s going on.
“The Admiral of Highcliffe Sailing Club has expressed serious concern to the Council regarding the lack of support for sailing in Christchurch Harbor if we are not there.”
“Maybe they don’t understand what locals and tourists are interested in doing here. Surfing was actually mentioned as part of the bid, but Christchurch It’s strange because the harbor is not a surfing spot at all.”
May said Shore Sports had more than 6,000 booked sessions this year, including walk-in participants.
In addition, over 900 people participated in children’s clubs and over 500 young people participated in activities through youth group bookings.
“Our family run business has literally remained sky-high and dry with no place to operate. We have 10 sailboats, a base and all other kits and of course a BCP somewhere to operate. permission is required.”
A spokesperson for the BCP Council told A&T:
“Accordingly, the Council has conducted an open tender to select an operator for a new three-year term starting in April 2023.
“The bidding process is aimed at ensuring the best possible service and economic outcomes for local people.
“We have selected preferred bidders and are currently going through standard due diligence checks before contacting them.”