At one of the meetings between boaters, BW and Wiltshire Council Ken Oliver, Wiltshire Council’s Canal Officer, made a comment about the amount of money that Councils pay each year to BW. Wanting to know the amounts and what this money was for I made FOI requests to BW, Wiltshire Council, B&NES and West Berkshire Council, asking for amounts that they had paid to or received from BW in the last five years.
As usual, the figures received from the Councils and from BW don’t match, but judging from the recent totally inaccurate FOI replies from BW I feel it is more likely the Council ones are accurate. The amounts in total come to a massive £552,955 paid to BW over a five-year period. Some of the Councils quantified what the amounts were for. Apart from some very specific payments, for example for Aldermaston Wharf, the rest of the money is mostly for “canal maintenance”. Now I hardly think that a local authority is paying for maintenance to the actual cut or lock gates, so I can only assume that the money is for towpath maintenance and other parts of the canal that members of the public would use. All the councils also confirmed that continuous cruisers are not liable for Council Tax.
They all confirmed that to be liable for Council Tax, boats need to be on a permanent mooring (ie not 14 day) and that the mooring also needs to be registered as a residence at the Valuation Office Agency. If anyone wants to see the individual responses please email firstname.lastname@example.org
|Organisation||What they say they paid to BW||What BW say Councils paid them||Difference|
|West Berkshire Council||£306,466.05||£1,368.45||£305,097.60|
|B&NES Council||£1,570.06||£50,316.59||£48,746.53||N.B. B&NES didn’t actually transfer monies but services to the value of the above, hence BW owe them £1,570.06|