A multi-agency working group on “residential houseboats” was set up by the DEFRA Inland Waterways Policy Land Use section over a year ago in December 2017, “tasked to look at the issue of illegally [sic] moored houseboats”.
Where it can be said or thought.
We are now able to publish the minutes of the meeting between liveaboard boaters, Michelle Donelan MP and CRT Chief Executive Richard Parry. The meeting was minuted by Wiltshire Council’s Peter Dunford, Community Engagement Manager for Bradford on Avon. Also included is a record of the discussions. You can download them here:
Liveaboard boaters without a fixed address can register to vote by declaring a local connection. The form to use has changed and requires more information such as your date of birth and National Insurance number. This change has been made because of the move to individual voter registration, rather than household registration. Boat dwellers with no fixed address have always needed to register individually so the change is not so great for us.
The K&A boaters action group has a big pile of voter registration forms that we would like to deliver to as many boats as we can this week, starting tomorrow (Monday 18th March). We need some help doing this!! If you can cycle along a stretch of towpath delivering these forms, please ring/text 07928 078208 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Something that us boaters may or may not be aware of is that we still have the right to vote even though we don’t have a fixed address. There will be local elections for Wiltshire Council (and other Councils) on May 2nd this year, and our votes could make the difference between continuing Wiltshire’s support for liveaboard boaters or not. If you fill in and send back the electoral registration form before April 17th 2013, you will be added to the electoral roll in time to vote. Here is the form boater_electoral_registration
Councillor Fleur de Rhé-Philipe, Chair of the Kennet and Avon Local Waterway Partnership, resigned this week. Tamsin Phipps, who represents canoeists on the Partnership, is now acting as the temporary Chair. The Partnership is about to release its review of the K&A local mooring strategy proposals.
Liveaboard boater Simon Greer has started an online petition for security for towpath boat dwellers. You can sign the petition here:
Both Houses of Parliament passed the BW Transfer Order on 27th June following debates on 25th and 26th June. In the debate in the Commons First Delegated Legislation Committee, Waterways Minister Richard Benyon announced that the Navigation Committee of the Canal and River Trust (CRT) “… will include at least one boater without a home mooring who understands and campaigns for the interests of itinerant live-aboard boaters.”
The House of Commons First Delegated Legislation Committee will consider the Draft British Waterways Board (Transfer of Functions) Order 2012 on Tuesday 26th June. Please write to your MP now asking him or her to vote against the Order when it is returned to the floor of the House of Commons for a vote a few days after the Committee has considered it. An example letter is below.