When making arrangements for a meeting between BaNES Council and Sally Ash and Damian Kemp of BW in December 2011, one of the Council’s housing officers said in an email that “We .. have on-going concerns regarding their appreciation of the potential impact of the proposed moorings strategy (ie homelessness, access to education/services etc).” In September 2012, Councillor Tim Ball, whose Cabinet remit includes housing and Travellers, stated that “BaNES has sought a memorandum of understanding between the Council and Agencies to ensure that draconian action is not taken with regards to boat dwellers without permanent moorings.” The BaNES Gypsy and Traveller Working Group will discuss the inclusion of itinerant boat dwellers in its Gypsy and Traveller strategy in November 2012.
In 2010, BW had tried to persuade BaNES to fund part of the cost of an extra boat checker, who would have been a BaNES employee, but the Council eventually decided not to go ahead. BaNES Councillor Ian Dewey of Bathampton, who resigned in May 2011, was actively promoting this and working with BW to prevent liveaboards from mooring in Bathampton.
In June 2012, Councillor Dave Laming, a boatbuilder and mooring operator on the Avon, proposed that boat dwellers without home moorings should be included in the Council’s Gypsy and Traveller strategy. His proposal was accepted by the full Council, subject to approval by the Cabinet. Dave Laming is the Council’s Champion for the K and A Canal and River Avon; he helped to set up the BaNES River Corridor Group which has proposed an ambitious scheme for a water park at Keynsham, connected to the river by a short canal, which would include residential moorings and static eco-friendly houseboats. This spring, BaNES appointed a new company, Riverside Leisure Management, to take over the collection of mooring fees from boats on Council-owned visitor moorings on the Avon in order to maximise its income from mooring fees. The first BaNES River Economy report examines the potential for profit from the economic development of the riverside.
See our previous articles http://kanda.boatingcommunity.org.uk/wordpress/banes-traveller-policy-may-include-boat-dwellers/