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.”
Posts Tagged ‘BW charity status’
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.
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:
The draft Order to transfer British Waterways to the Canal and River Trust has been published and is currently being scrutinised by two Parliamentary Committees. It will also be debated in both the House of Commons and House of Lords. Despite many boaters lobbying and submitting evidence when the Public Bodies Bill (now an Act of Parliament) was being drafted, the issue of British Waterways was not discussed at all in the House of Commons committee on the Bill. The subject of the transfer order is BW alone, so it is vital that we take the opportunity to raise all the issues about the risks of homelessness to boat dwellers (both with and without permanent moorings) that arise from the transfer of BW to charity status. The deadline for submissions to the Committees is this Monday 19th March so write to them now!
On 29 February the Government laid before Parliament the draft order under the Public Bodies Act 2011 to transfer the functions of British Waterways to the Canal and River Trust. A Freedom of Information request has confirmed that no application to register the Canal and River Trust as a charity has been made – so there’s still time to object to the Charity Commission.