Local Mooring Strategy consultation planned for May to September

BW plans to carry out the consultation on the Kennet and Avon Local Mooring Strategy between the end of May and the end of September 2012, according to a Freedom of Information response from BW.

A member of the Steering Group made an FOI request for all information relating to the forthcoming consultation on the local mooring strategy.

BW replied saying “The information requested is not held, other than Local Mooring Strategy Meeting Group meeting notes (already in the public domain) regarding the consultation process for the outputs of the K&A Local Mooring Strategy. Although, hopefully, it will be helpful if we state our intentions:

We will be running a formal public consultation. Hopefully this will start at the end of May and will run until the end of September. There is a passage at the bottom of page 5 of the attached Code of Practice on Consultation that could, potentially, alleviate us from the need to consult. In summary it says that formal consultation is not the only way to get feedback, other methods are available (the embedded link in the attached is to www.peopleandparticipation.net – and the method we’ve used on the K&A is classed as deliberative workshops). However, we haven’t used this method to get all the way to an agreed conclusion (as we don’t believe this would happen) so therefore a formal consultation is appropriate.

The reason we are consulting for longer than 12 weeks is that, as per Section 2.2 on page 8 of the attached Code of Practice, if a consultation exercise is to take place over a period when consultees are less able to respond, e.g. over the summer or Christmas break, or if the policy under consideration is particularly complex, consideration should be given to the feasibility of allowing a longer period for the consultation. If you have any further questions Damian Kemp will be more than happy to answer directly.”

Watch out for some boaters’ meetings nearer the time to discuss our reponses to the consultation.

In February 2012 a member of the Local Mooring Strategy Steering Group put the questions below to the Chair, BW’s Damian Kemp but the only reply she received stated that he would need to check with Sally Ash. This meant that the only way of finding out was to make a FOI request. The questions put to Mr Kemp were:

“Please could you clarify the following issues regarding the forthcoming consultation process for the Kennet and Avon Local Mooring Strategy proposals.

1. Many boat dwellers without a home mooring do not have either access to email and internet or regular access to postal mail. What steps does BW intend to take to ensure that all boat dwellers without a home mooring who may be affected by the proposals are made aware of the proposals in their entirety and have the opportunity to submit their views and otherwise take part in the consultation in a meaningful way?

2. What does BW intend to do to ensure that all boat dwellers without a home mooring will have adequate time to consider the proposals and take part in the consultation?

3. The proposals will affect all boat dwellers without a home mooring who travel on the Kennet and Avon canal, not just those whose boats are currently located west of Devizes. Can BW assure us that boat dwellers without home moorings who are located east of Devizes during the consultation period will have the same opportunity to take part in the consultation as those who are west of Devizes during the relevant period? This is particularly important given that some boats are trapped by stoppages lasting until the end of March.

4. Can BW assure us that the consultation will be carried out in compliance with the Government’s Code of Practice on Consultation?”

The Government’s Code of Practice on Consultation can be downloaded here HM Government Code of Practice on Consultation

Damian Kemp’s email address is damian.kemp@britishwaterways.co.uk should you wish to ask him any further questions.

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