A boater recently made this Freedom of Information request to BW and got the answer below which suggests that most of the pending legal action against boaters is about licence evasion rather than overstaying, and that BW may be carrying out unlawful enforcement action against 8 boats without home moorings.
Archive for November, 2010
The local mooring strategy steering group met again on 8 November. We are able to provide notes of most of the discussion, taken by a volunteer, which are at the end of this article.
The most significant point that emerged at this meeting was the fact that there is a strong consensus among the different interest groups – liveaboard and other boaters, the hire boat industry, local authorities and parish councillors – around the table on the following points:
Photo: Bob Naylor KAcanalTIMES.co.uk
The boaters’ carol service will take place at Dundas Aqueduct on Saturday 4th December at 6pm. As the picture from last year shows, this is a magical event enjoyed by boaters and local residents alike. There will be mince pies afterwards. The service is organised by Canal Ministries, who also offer free food all year round to people in need on the waterways.
Photo: Bob Naylor KAcanalTIMES.co.uk
Ten adults and three children carried out a Gordon Brown-style (who?) deep clean of the towpath between Bradford lock and Limpley Stoke on Saturday 13th November. Mark Stephens, Manager of the Kennet and Avon Canal, took time out of his weekend to greet the towpath tidiers and was suitably impressed by the first Bradford on Avon Star Class work boat, built at Bradford Wharf in 2008.
The last Kennet and Avon Canal User Group meeting took place on 29 September. A volunteer has kindly provided us with a transcript of the discussion, which you can read in full below if you want to know what took place. The volunteer says “Despite my best efforts, these notes are likely to be partial in both senses of the word. Occasionally I have added my own thoughts as footnotes where it seemed appropriate.” Here it is:
BW has recently attempted to obtain a Section 8 against a liveaboard boater without informing him of the Section 8 notice or of the date of the court hearing in Bath. As luck would have it, the District Judge at Bath County Court referred BW’s claim to Bristol County Court for a Directions Hearing because it was too complex for a District Judge. At this point BW decided to inform the boater of the new hearing, this time in front of a Circuit Judge (who is more senior). However, BW’s solicitors Shoosmiths have informed the boater that the hearing is a full hearing, where he will need to defend himself, rather than a Directions Hearing where the court decides how it will deal with the case.
In denying the boater the chance to defend himself, BW have broken Article 6 of the Human Rights Act (the right to a fair trial); Article 8 (the right to respect for one’s home, private and family life) and Article 14 (protection from discrimination). Needless to say, this boater intends to throw the book at BW, and is considering taking out an injunction against BW to prevent any further interference with his home, and bringing a Judicial Review of BW’s actions which are in breach of the Human Rights Act.
If BW has served you with a Section 8 notice and failed to inform you of the court date, or has served papers on you incorrectly, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are at all worried that this may happen to you, you are entitled to make a request under the Data Protection Act to obtain all the information BW holds about you. See our article here http://kanda.boatingcommunity.org.uk/wordpress/?p=311#more-311
… that Sally Ash has had three written warnings from her employer British Waterways, one of them for signing some fraudulent expenses claims from a member of staff.
….that Robin Evans and some other BW directors are to resign this year (before they are pushed?) – disappointingly, this rumour has been around for a while…
The Leader of BANES Council listens to the boaters Photo: Bob Naylor KAcanalTIMES.co.uk
The beautiful sundial constructed to commemorate the K&A 200th anniversary was unveiled on 30 October at lock 10 on the Widcombe flight in Bath. Boaters attended the ceremony in order to hand out leaflets informing the public that BW’s unlawful new policies will make liveaboard boaters homeless.
Everyone is welcome to join us on a Towpath Tidy on Saturday 13th November. Meet at 11am outside the Canal Tavern in Bradford on Avon. We plan to tidy the towpath between Bradford on Avon and Dundas. There will be a work boat to carry the rubbish. This boat is Ishtar, the first Bradford Star Class traditional working boat.
Bring protective gloves, a wheelbarrow, a bike trailer or a boathook if you have them. We will provide bin bags, litter picking spikes and some extra gloves. There will be handwashing facilities provided at Dundas. All towpath users are welcome to join in.