It is not often that boaties move me to tears, barring when they hit my foot with a mooring hammer. But the response to the meetings has moved me muchly. The back bar at the Canal Tavern was packed and the Love Lounge at the Bell had a surprising number of people given how cold and damp the weather was that night.
A big ‘thank you’ to all those who came, a huge hug to those whose responses we collected and will send off, responses where the depth of feeling and the pride in our community is so obvious to me and cannot be ignored by British Waterways.
We will send the responses to British Waterways after copying them and registering the posting so that there will be ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE if they are lost or ignored. And we will be holding BW to account for you views. We will confirm that they are read, counted and taken into account as fas as it is possible to do so.
We gave out 90 copies of the response forms and we have had 36 of both the National and Local consutation responses back so far. This means that there is another 50 out there.
Please please please fill them in and get them to us to send to BW or send them yourself. The closing dates are the 11th of January for the local and 31st January for the national. There will be a complaint made that the local consultation, at 8 weeks breached the government guidelines on consulations, especially as those guideline also imply that the ‘dead’ time of Christmas should be compensated for as well.
And of course you can respond in a free form letter, you don’t have to use the response form. BW have stated they will take these views into account as well and we will check.
If you know of anyone who didn’t make the meetings please badger them to respond. We still have a long way to go before the majority of the estimated 160 liveaboards wintering on the Western Kennet and Avon have responded. don’t forget as well that we have friends and family on the bank who are affected by these issues and can make a response too.
Also launched at the meeting is a petition.
Whereas, of course, every liveaboard boater, will instinctively agree with the statement, we primarily intend this petition as a vehicle for other boaters, local canalside business and residents to express their support and appreciation of the joy and life we bring where-ever the canal touches their world.
Ian Gill managed over 1,000 signatures just from passers by to his boat, let’s have some competition here. Let’s gather a voice that cannot be ignored.
You can download a copy of the petition here; petition
More copies of the response forms and our suggestions as to some of the objections to the proposals are here, please distribute them to yoiur neighbours without internet access;
National moorings reponse form with room to fill in your response
Local moorings response form
Suggestions for possible responses
The consultation documents can be found here;
Local consultation, deadline 11th January 2010
Local mooring strategy consultation document
National Consultation, deadline 31st January 2010
Draft Mooring Policy Consultation November 2009.