It has long been a concern to us that BW and latterly, CRT, use the terms ‘continuous cruising’ and ‘continuous mooring’ to attempt to subvert the intentions of Section 17 of the 1995 Waterways Act. We have long campaigned for them to obey this law and to show, publicly, that they obey and respect the wishes of Parliament.
Archive for August, 2012
We thought it would be nice for those of us who are interested in Drifters and their contribution to the boat hire industry to see how well they are doing their job.
It is obvious to anyone concerned with marketing tourism and holidays that the first port of call these days for prospective customers are the internet search engines and, in particular, Google. So we ran a ‘rank check’ on certain keywords with the website www.drifters.co.uk to see exactly how well they are doing their job.
CRT Chief Executive Robin Evans has responded negatively to the boaters’ complaint which we published below about the content of Trustees’ briefing TT06. He has declined to end the use of the term “continuous moorers” and “CMs” and has failed to address most of the issues in the complaint. We publish his reply here:
If you live on your boat, and your income and savings are low, you are eligible for Housing Benefit. You can claim Housing Benefit to cover the cost of the boat licence, boat safety certificate and third-party insurance. If you have a mooring and/or if you rent your boat, Housing Benefit will cover the cost of the mooring fee and rent up to certain limits.
This week Wiltshire Council tried to close the Housing Benefit claims of a number of boaters who live on non-residential moorings. The Council officers in question were unaware of case law from 2006 that confirms that Housing Benefit is payable even when the claimant’s occupation of their home is unlawful or does not have planning permission for residential use.
An enforcement officer’s project that consisted of intensive enforcement action against a selected group of liveaboards without home moorings provides more information about CRT/BW’s enforcement strategy. The “Final Report into non-compliance of British Waterways Continuous Cruiser regulations on the South Oxford Canal” shows that CRT/BW is sending enforcement letters to boaters that are designed to pressure them to travel longer distances, without telling them what distance is considered acceptable to avoid enforcement action.
The CRT Trustees decided recently that Nigel Johnson, the Legal and Corporate Services Director, will retire in 2014 because “We have decided that in the longer term the Trust does not require the expertise of a full time Legal Director”. His post will not be replaced. We have also learnt that Head of Boating Sally Ash has had responsibility for moorings shifted away from her, with her team being shrunk to cover policy on boating and mooring only.
The K&A Boaters’ Action Group will meet next on Monday 13th August at 7.30pm in Bath. If you have time to do a bit of work over the next few months (or longer) defending our rights as liveaboards; doing constructive things like towpath tidies; engaging in dialogue with CRT/BW, etc, then we would like you to be in the group.