In response to a question on 13 October from Duncan Hames, the MP for Chippenham, Waterways Minister Richard Benyon stated in the House of Commons that the new waterways charity would still be subject to the Freedom of Information Act.
Posts Tagged ‘Public Bodies Bill’
The Public Bodies Bill, which proposes to transfer BW to charity status, is being examined in detail by the Public Bill Committee in the House of Commons. A number of boaters and boating groups submitted written evidence to the Committee, including boaters on the K and A, Grand Union, London waterways and in the North West.
BW has claimed that despite discussing “the possibility of introducing greater enforcement powers for BW as part of the new legislation” at its January 2011 Board meeting, it is not seeking extra enforcement powers through its amendment (99A) to the Public Bodies Bill (which will transfer BW to charity status). BW’s Legal Director Nigel Johnson reported back to BW’s May Board meeting that this would not be possible and the appropriate method of seeking change to BW’s enforcement powers was by an Order under the Transport and Works Act 1992 – in other words, a Statutory Instrument. To our knowledge, BW has not used the Transport and Works Act Order process in the past to gain additional powers. The only way to successfully object to a Transport and Works Act Order is to bring a Judicial Review. Public consultation is not obligatory.
Please write to your MP NOW!! and ask him or her to vote against the British Waterways amendment to the Public Bodies Bill (amendment 99A). The Bill will be debated in the House of Commons on 12th July. Please ask your family and friends to write to their MPs as well.