BW contradicts itself over consultation

The email correspondence below from Sarina Young of BW completely contradicts what Damian Kemp told the Kennet and Avon canal User Group meeting on 29 April. According to Damian, the consultation responses have been analysed. According to Sarina on 7 May, they have not been analysed. Draw your own conclusions!

RE: Residential moorings under BW jurisdiction – pre-consultation document‏

From: Sarina Young (Sarina.Young@britishwaterways.co.uk)

To: NBTA

Sent: 07 May 2010 14:28:00

Dear National Bargee Traveller Association

Thank you for your recent e-mail. As requested I have forwarded your correspondence to Steve Dunlop for his information; I have also forwarded your comment to Sally Ash, our Head of Boating Business.

You mention that you believe that the data from this consultation has been analysed. This is not correct. We have received responses to the consultation paper from individuals, organisations and groups. Currently all of the responses are being collated by a group of volunteers but no deeper analysis has taken place and no decisions have been made yet.

Kind regards,

SarinaYoung

Customer Service Co-Ordinator

British Waterways The Kiln Mather Road Newark NG24 1FB Tel: 01636 675740 Fax: 01636 705584

From: NBTA

Sent: 30 April 2010 12:29

To: Sarina Young

Subject: FW: Residential moorings under BW jurisdiction – pre-consultation document

Dear Ms Young

I represent the National Bargee Travellers Association (NBTA).

I have had sight of a letter form Steve Dunlop to_________ in relation to the BW consultation on moorings. This follows from a pre-consultation activity conducted by Sally Ash in April 2009.

The NBTA was seriously concerned about both the structure of the consultation and the nature of the policies proposed. However the NBTA responded to Ms Ash’s consultation call and filed the response that I have attached above. For this reason the NBTA did not respond to the main consultation as, we were led to believe, this was materially the same as the pre-consultation. I have to confess that I was not inclined to duplicate the work for the main consultation.

Now that the consultation has closed and, I have been led to believe, the data has been analysed, it is becoming apparent that the new policy proposed is both extremely unpopular (contrary to what has been published in the press) and legally flawed in relation to Article 8 of the Eurpoean Convention on Human Rights. This begs the question of the ongoing reliability of the consultation cycle itself. After all if BW engages in consultation then ignores the responses then what is the point in submitting a response.

Further, if there is a non-contentious legal challenge embodied in a consultation response and the authority ignores that material and brings policy forward into legislation as a consequence it has to be said that that authority is acting ultra vires and open to challenge by means of Judicial Review. As the purpose of the consultation is to construct legislation “positively and properly” then what is the point of consulting if the product of the consultation is something that immediately raises the spectre of a legal challenge? I would argue that for BW to conduct itself in this manner is self-defeating.

Finally I also believe that it is inappropriate for business to continue in what is in essence a purdah period and I believe that it is appropriate for the policy forming cycle to resume after the election. Apart from anything your new masters may have alternative policies to cast. I would be grateful if you would pass this e-mail onto Steve Dunlop so that he has my contacts and these comments above.

Yours sincerely

Legal Officer

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One Response to “BW contradicts itself over consultation”

  1. Paul Biddy MonsterID Icon Paul Biddy says:

    Here here! Well said NBTA, well said!

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