Windermere users urged to have their say in major survey from SLDC and LDNPA

The Westmorland Gazette: Windermere users urged to have their say in major survey from SLDC and LDNPA Windermere users urged to have their say in major survey from SLDC and LDNPA

PEOPLE who spend time on Windermere are being asked to give their views on how services could be improved.

South Lakeland District Council and the Lake District National Park Authority are conducting a Lake Windermere Service Survey 2014.

It can be completed online at: www.southlakeland.gov.uk/lake-survey

It also follows recent stinging criticism from some in the tourism industry that SLDC is treating Windermere as a 'cash cow' and that their needs to be better integrated management between the council and the Lake District National Park Authority.

The two public-funded authorities have different interests on Windermere.

SLDC owns the lake-bed, providing public slipways and managing moorings, while the LDNPA is responsible for lake byelaws.

Frankie Flannigan, SLDC lake and parking services officer, said: “The aim of the survey is to gather information on lake usage. By taking part, lake users have the opportunity to rate and comment on services and facilities."

Surveys are being sent to everyone who has a boat registered on the lake. Additional copies of the survey will also be available at the Ferry Nab office, so canoeists and kayakers, can pick up a copy.

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An event will be held over Easter focussing on water safety, which will give people the opportunity to talk to the council about the survey.

Coun Sue Sanderson, portfolio holder for environment and people, said: “This is a good opportunity for all lake-users to have their say.

“Amongst the questions, people will be able to comment on their experience of using the lake, which facilities they use and what they think of the rescue service.

“The information will be used to improve both authorities’ understanding of the needs of lake-users and ensure that services and facilities are in line with, or exceed people’s expectations where possible.”

All surveys must be completed by 25 April 2014 and the survey can also be completed via a link on the Lake Wardens Facebook page.

The final results of the survey will be posted on the council’s website.

Only recently, SLDC came under fire from some tourism bosses for raising over £1 million in fees and charges from the lake.

However, council bosses said the increases and income was necessary because financial support from government was reducing.

Carole Shaw, who chairs the Windermere Lake User Forum, which represents sailors, paddlecraft, outdoor activity centres and marinas on the lake, also said SLDC and the LDNPA needed to have a better 'integrated management' of the lake.

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