The consultation on the Kennet and Avon Canal Local Mooring Strategy has been delayed by a month in order to accommodate BW’s consultation on changes to the terms and conditions of Houseboat Certificates. The Local Mooring Strategy consultation is now planned to run from the end of June until the end of October 2012.
BW Policy News and FOI Act Requests
It’s happening now. At the moment much discussion is going on about the corporate stance, both published and secret, of British Waterways and we are getting material flooding in. It will be heard here. The results of Freedom of Information Act requests will be also be aired here. Keep them coming.
BW’s internal Licensing and Enforcement management reports between June 2011 and March 2012 show that BW has set a target for “all boats not moving at least 30km during their contract period to be within enforcement process “. The reports were obtained by a Freedom of Information request.
Documents provided in response to a Freedom of Information request show that in 2010-2011 BW had a target of seizing 100 “non compliant” boats per year. Monthly reports to management by the BW Enforcement Team in April, May, June, August and October 2010 also show that BW under-estimated the cost of seizing boats, which was around ￡3,700 per boat, mainly to pay lifting contractors, and as a result was likely to miss its target and only seize 75 in the year to March 2011, despite recouping some of the costs by selling seized boats.
Several boaters attended the Kennet and Avon User Group meeting on May 3rd and among other information, found out that temporary facilities at Dundas would be installed on May 14th; that drought restrictions are still in force, and that the Local Mooring Strategy proposals were due to be reviewed by the Local Waterway Partnership. Two boaters sent a report:
On 27th March, the House of Lords Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee decided to trigger the “super affirmative” procedure for the BW Transfer Order. This means that the time for consideration by Parliamentary Committees is 60 days (normally it is 40) and it must be approved by both Houses of Parliament following a debate in each. The 60 days ends on 24 May 2012 and the debates will take place sometime after 30 May. Seven days notice of the debates will be given and this will be posted on www.parliament.uk. This means that there is still some more time to lobby MPs and Lords about the Transfer Order, up to the start of June. Please write to your MP.
Five liveaboard boaters attended the House of Lords Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee on 24 April, to observe Robin Evans, the BW Chief Executive; Nigel Johnson, BW’s Legal Director, and Waterways Minister Richard Benyon MP being cross-examined by the Committee about the Draft British Waterways (Transfer of Functions) Order 2012. The boaters observing included Frank Kelly, who stood for election to the Canal and River Trust Council, and Nick Brown, Legal Officer of the National Bargee Travellers Association (NBTA), who sent this report: