The draft Order to transfer British Waterways to the Canal and River Trust has been published and is currently being scrutinised by two Parliamentary Committees. It will also be debated in both the House of Commons and House of Lords. Despite many boaters lobbying and submitting evidence when the Public Bodies Bill (now an Act of Parliament) was being drafted, the issue of British Waterways was not discussed at all in the House of Commons committee on the Bill. The subject of the transfer order is BW alone, so it is vital that we take the opportunity to raise all the issues about the risks of homelessness to boat dwellers (both with and without permanent moorings) that arise from the transfer of BW to charity status. The deadline for submissions to the Committees is this Monday 19th March so write to them now!
Archive for March, 2012
The anti-liveaboard Inland Waterways Association (IWA) has been elected to three of the four private boater places on the Canal and River Trust Council. Clive Henderson, Ivor Caplan and Keith Welch, all connected with the IWA, gained the most votes with Ann Farrell in fourth place. The two boating business places were taken by Nigel Stevens, owner of Shire Cruisers hire boats and a past Chair of BWAF, and Anthony Matts.
This Thursday evening (March 15th) Alton Parish Council is to hold a second meeting to discuss getting rid of all the temporary and permanent moorings outside the Barge Inn, Honey Street and at Gibson’s Boat Services (now Moonboats). In addition we understand that the Parish Council wants to prevent boats from mooring anywhere in the Parish. British Waterways and a Community Police Officer have been invited to attend the meeting, but no attempt has been made to consult local boaters. However a number of boaters plan to attend the meeting and would welcome other boaters joining them.
The draft order to transfer BW to charity status will be scrutinised by five Parliamentary committees and in addition has to be agreed by both houses of Parliament. This means that there will be opportunities to lobby Parliament about the risks of homelessness for boat dwellers of the move to the Canal and River Trust (CRT), in particular to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee. In addition, there is still time to object to the registration of the CRT to the Charity Commission, as the application to register the charity has not yet been submitted.
On 29 February the Government laid before Parliament the draft order under the Public Bodies Act 2011 to transfer the functions of British Waterways to the Canal and River Trust. A Freedom of Information request has confirmed that no application to register the Canal and River Trust as a charity has been made – so there’s still time to object to the Charity Commission.