Archive for October, 2009

The Outer Zone

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

A recent FOI request about policy and the proposed mooring restrictions around Bathampton has led to the receipt of a number of documents and maps being received and passed to us here.

We have just received these and haven’t had time to digest them. We will add our comments in due course.
It is a reflection of the importance of using the Freedom of Information Act that nobody would know about these secret and illegal meetings unless someone, hearing a rumour or two, put in the requests that produced this shocking tale by way of reply.

We list the documents below;

Our correspondent received this document referring to a meeting between Bathampton Parish Council on 15th June 2009 and, realising that there was much more going on here, made the subsequent requests that produced the documents that have so shocked the community.

‘Ian’ mentioned in the letter is Ian Dewey, BANES councillor, chair of the meetings. Mr Dewey owns property in Rennet Court, Bathampton. It is not clear whether he represents himself or BANES council in these discussions. One of the many pratfalls to meeting in secret is this lack of transparency and accountability. We ask Mr Dewey’s ward members to ask him some searching questions on these matters.

Letter to Ian Dewey

Minutes of the meeting between Bathampton Parish Council, a smattering of residents of Claverton and Bathampton and British Waterways, conducted in secret on 10th August 2009.

The same people then met a week later and walked the areas in question, spotted by Ian on his land, they refused to state their intentions although, when pressed, the officials from British Waterways admitted their identities.
Questions posed on 17 aug walk with answers

Of particular note in this document is question 2, reproduced here.

2. What are we going to do about non-continuous cruisers’ children going to local schools?

This is not something that can be addressed by British Waterways on its own. Other
stakeholders involvement is required but this is only likely to happen if a broader project is

This answer is couched in so much garbage that we believe a different spin will be put on this once BW, and the questioner are directly questioned as to the intention of this question which on the face of it would appear to be an attempt to deny the children of boaters attending the local school.

We encourage you to question your representatives, who must by law answer questions put to them, what exactly this question is intended to convey and what interpretation they put on the answers.
What is the ‘broader project’? does this refer to the draconian mooring proposals, a thinly veiled attempt to enthnically cleanse the Limpley Stoke Valley of its boating community.

There was a follow-up meeting at Bathampton Village Hall when British Waterways’ officers presented the Outer Zone proposals, again to the same closed group of people and again in secret.

An email correspondence between BW and one of the putative attendees;
e-mail correspondence btween BANES and BW 23 Sep 09

Maps of proposed mooring restrictions

1 Bathampton Folly Footbridge to Candy’s Bridge 19 Aug 2009

2 Bathampton Candy’s Bridge to white gate (start of permanent moorings) 19 Aug 2009

3 Bathampton White gate (Kennet Side) to winding hole 19 Aug 2009

4 Bathampton & Claverton Winding hole to Hardings Bridge 19 Aug 2009

5 Claverton Hardings Bridge to narrowing in canal 19 Aug 2009

6 Claverton covering the 300 metres south of narrowing in canal 19 Aug 2009

7 Claverton from end of permanent moorings to 500 metres from Dundas Bridge

8 Claverton from end of 14 Day zone to Dundas Bridge

From the horses mouth

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

Our friends at Hush-Hush have sent these documents because they care;

Look out for the Fox.



Kinda takes your breath away, no? Our lords and masters are really out of control now.

Interesting line in the Online Mooring Policy document, about ‘complaints from local residents’ (near the end – stay awake there). We need to find out more about this, we also need to get some ‘affirmations from local residents’ such as the 900 word petition recently collected from the towpath in Bath.

We expect these documents to be the subject of BW copyright action so copy and survive – get them out there as fast as possible.

British Waterways Act 1995 Section 17 (4) and (5)

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

In this section is given the procedure that British Waterways must follow if they wish to take away your licence (“withdrawing their consent”) – see section 17 (5) below

The important bit is that they must give you 28 days to “remedy the breach”

British Waterways Act 1995 Section 17

(4) If—

(a) (subject to subsection (6) below) the vessel does not comply with the standards applicable to the vessel on the date when the consent was granted; or

(b) an insurance policy is not in force in respect of the vessel; or

(c) either—

(i) (in the case of a vessel in respect of which a relevant consent is issued pursuant to subsection (3) (c) (i) above) it appears to the Board that a mooring or other place such as is referred to in subsection (3) (c) (i) above is not available for the vessel; or

(ii) (in the case of a vessel in respect of which a relevant consent is issued pursuant to subsection (3) (c) (ii) above) the vessel has not in fact been used bona fide for navigation in accordance with the said subsection (3) (c) (ii);

the Board may give notice requiring the holder of the relevant consent to remedy the default within such time as may be reasonable (not being less than 28 days).

(5) If the holder of the relevant consent does not comply with any notice served pursuant to subsection (4) above then the relevant consent shall determine on the date the notice expires.

Brief Advice

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

This is the content of the handout to boaters given out at the meeting at the Bell, 28th September 2009.


BW CAN enforce the 14-day rule. However, this should begin with giving you 28 days to move the boat (Section 17, British Waterways Act 1995).

BW SHOULD NOT force boats without a home mooring to wider their cruising area or to be on a progressive journey. The Mooring Guidance for Continuous Cruisers is not part of the law. We believe BW is acting beyond its powers if it does this.

If you live on your boat BW MUST take you to court so that you can defend yourself against removal of your boat under Section 8 of the British Waterways Act 1983 (Articles 6 and 8, Human Rights Act/ European Convention on Human Rights).

BW has issued between 100 and 200 patrol notices and threatening CC1 or CC2 letters to boats in the Bath to Bradford on Avon area since June 2009. Many boaters without a mooring who do move every 14 days have had these letters telling them their cruising area is too small and threatening them with Section 8.

BW do pressurise boaters to take (winter or permanent) moorings in order to make money.

If you make any verbal agreement with BW in person or by phone, it is a good idea to write and ask BW to confirm it in writing. If BW refuse, write again saying you will not abide by the verbal agreement unless you have it in writing. Make notes of all conversations and phone calls.

If you’re not satisfied with the way BW has treated you, make a complaint. Address your complaint to John Ward, Acting General Manager, BW South West (address below).
Write to: British Waterways South West, The Dock Office, Commercial Rd, GLOUCESTER GL1 2EB. Address your letter to the person you made the agreement with. If you have internet access, the complaints procedure is on the BW web site:

Here is a suggested reply to patrol notices and CC1 letters:

“I have always complied with British Waterways’ legal requirements regarding movement of my boat and I intend to continue complying with these legal requirements. I have always cruised in compliance with Section 17 (3) (c) of the British Waterways Act 1995 and with Condition 2 (Use of the Boat) of the General Terms and Conditions for Boat Licences. I do not understand why you think I have not done so. You mention the Mooring Guidance for Continuous Cruisers. This states quite clearly that it is guidance, that it is an interpretation of the law, and “does not have the force of law” (Note 1). Therefore, it is not a legal requirement. The 1995 Act and Condition 2 of the boat licence do not require boats to conform to a particular cruising pattern.”

For the wording of Section 17 of the Waterways Act 1995

Section 17 (3)

Section 17 (4) and (5)