From correspondence below, obtained via Freedom of Information from Bath and NE Somerset Council, it looks like BW and BANES are paying jointly for an extra boat checker. This appears to be instigated partly by Councillor Ian Dewey of Bathampton, who has been a key mover in efforts to move liveaboard boaters off the canal.
The “concerns” expressed take no account of the fact that the Mooring Guidance for Continuous Cruisers is not a legal requirement and clearly states that it does not have the force of law. Unlike the 14-day rule in Section 17 of the British Waterways Act, BW does not have the legal power to enforce it. In one of the emails, David Lawrence, BANES Deputy Director for Heritage Services, says he does not think there is a problem. It is not clear whether this extra staff appointment is going ahead permanently, as the original contract seems to have been for this summer. However, we do wonder whether this is a good use of a cash-strapped Local Authority’s money, as responsibility for enforcement on the canal lies with BW.
The information in these emails seems to imply that BW is bypassing whatever the local mooring strategy would decide – this has gone ahead before the local mooring strategy inquiry panel has even started meeting.