Boaters attend Wiltshire Area Board meetings

Boaters have attended the Wiltshire Council Area Board Meetings at Trowbridge and Pewsey recently. Here’s a report from the Trowbridge Area Board on 1st July.

Wiltshire Council’s canal officer Ken Oliver gave a brief update on the outcome of the recent meeting between BW, boaters and Wiltshire Council in Devizes on 1 June. He only spoke for about 5 minutes as Councillor Osborn had somewhat hijacked the meeting due to being unhappy about a £500,000 hole in library budgets.

Ken said that the meeting was arranged by Wiltshire Council as BW had asked for their comments on the consultation (albeit right at the end of the consultation period meaning they couldn’t get their reply in on time). He confirmed that the consensus was that BW should be concentrating on enforcement and that they already have sufficient powers to prevent overstaying.  The key outcome of the meeting was that the local mooring strategy steering groups/ inquiry panel idea is likely to happen.

He added that the Kennet and Avon Canal Partnership is meeting on 28 July to discuss the issues and that all parties will have a say, but he did not make clear whether this would include individual, unaffiliated boaters. The Partnership was formed of local authorities, the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust and BW when the canal was restored, but has been dormant ever since. It is being reformed as a possible means of managing the local mooring strategy proposals.

One of my main reasons for attending was in case any councillors wanted to start boaty bashing, but because of time constraints (thanks to Councillor Osborn) this didn’t happen as the chair was keen to move onto the next point on the agenda.

We hope to bring you a report of the Pewsey meeting soon.

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