Trustees of the Canal and River Trust plan to register the new charity in November or December 2011. If you will be directly affected by this you have the right to object to the registration of the charity. Objections should be sent to the Charity Commission. The Bill that will allow BW to be transferred to a charity has passed through the Committee stage in Parliament without much change. Now is the time to object to it being registered with the Charity Commission.
Posts Tagged ‘equality’
A boaters’ group has proposed that the transfer of British Waterways to charity status would be an ideal opportunity to put in place statutory protection for the homes of all boat dwellers in the UK. Currently there is no legal recognition of the homes of boat dwellers (a boat is a chattel in law) and no statutory protection from eviction.
The Inland Waterways Association (IWA) representative on the Mooring Strategy Steering Group has made it clear that his understanding of the local mooring strategy is to “reduce the numbers of those living on the canal” so that within 5 years “they would be able to plan for a different life-style”. In an email to BW’s Sally Ash, the IWA rep Tim Wheeldon also stated that “there will be no question of anyone being forced to give up home, school or job in the short term“.
The boaters’ questionnaire which we published and delivered to boats between Bath and the Long Pound at the end of May is now being collated and analysed. A boater who works in IT has volunteered to enter the data into a spreadsheet designed by another boater. Response forms were completed by over 100 people altogether.
Sharon Brookes, Wiltshire Council’s Equality Officer, gave a presentation to the local mooring strategy meeting on 1st April explaining the duties of statutory bodies such as BW to carry out equality impact assessments of their policies. Under the Public Sector Equality Duty in the 2010 Equality Act, BW is required to do an equality impact assessment of the local mooring strategy. This includes an obligation to analyse the impact of new policies on human rights.
The sixth meeting of the Kennet and Avon Local Mooring Strategy Steering Group took place on 25 February. Damian Kemp confirmed that BW would be taking ongoing advice about carrying out an Equality Impact Assessment from the Equality Officers of Wiltshire and B&NES, Sharon Brookes and Samantha Jones. Plans were made at this meeting for the group to walk the towpath to consider possible mooring changes. The group established the definitions of some of the terms used by BW which had not been clarified, as follows:
We have submitted information on the situation, rights and needs of liveaboard boaters for the Core Strategies being drafted by Bath and NE Somerset and Wiltshire Councils.
What’s the Core Strategy? It’s the policy that guides local planning over the next 20 years or so. A boater met with one of the planning officers involved in drafting Wiltshire’s strategy, and a written response has gone to the public consultation on the BANES core strategy. This was done in response firstly to a proposal by Wiltshire’s Canal Officer that the Local Mooring Strategy should be written into its Core Strategy, and secondly because Bathampton and Claverton Parish Councils have responded to the BANES consultation with proposals that would have an adverse impact on liveaboard boaters.
Photo: Bob Naylor KAcanalTIMES.co.uk
There have been a number of accusations recently that boaters do not pay Council Tax and so should not benefit from local services. This is incorrect. British Waterways pays the Government a composite levy in respect of Council Tax and Business Rates. This is collected centrally and the income is used to offset general central Government payments to local authorities through the Rate Support Grant. Therefore, anyone who pays a boat licence fee to BW contributes to this composite levy in respect of Council Tax.