The Chief Executive of Wadworths Brewery, Chris Welham, has refused to re-instate the boaters’ rubbish bins at the Bridge Inn, Horton following a complaint. Boaters have now started an online petition calling on both Wadworths and Canal & River Trust to re-instate the bins.
Please sign, share, tweet and email sign the petition https://chn.ge/2nQhX6F
However Wadworths did state that the land leased by CRT at the far end of the pub car park would remain available for parking by boaters on the temporary moorings at the pub, and that the gates to the car park would not be locked. Mr Welham also said that the landlord will not turn off the water supply and that CRT is looking at installing its own water tap at the pub to avoid the “problems of bill payment and meter reading issues linked with the pub”.
Please also continue to make formal complaints to both Wadworths and CRT about the removal of the rubbish bins. Send your complaints to:
You can download an example complaint here: Horton bins complaint
The petition and other actions including further complaints were agreed at a meeting of the K&A Boaters’ Action Group on 13th August where boaters also discussed holding a demonstration at Wadworths brewery in Devizes.
Here is Wadworths’ reply to the complaint which was made by the NBTA:
Further to my reply on the 3rd August, I can now come back to you with a clear picture of the issues having investigated this with the team and also consulted in the main over the lease that we granted to CRT regarding the area of land in question.
There are a few issues in your note that I am clearly concerned about; not least being able to ensure that canal boaters continue to enjoy their experience of the Bridge Inn, Horton but also to balance this with ensuring that the Business Partner, Matt Smith of the Bridge does not have to contend with health, hygiene and safety risks that can be mitigated/avoided. I also need to set the record the straight with
On the 13th November 2002, Wadworth granted a lease to the Canal and River Trust (CRT) and this is registered under leasehold title WT216300. This lease is still retained within the ownership of the CRT and provides for vehicular and pedestrian access to the temporary moorings alongside the Bridge Inn. These are the only uses permitted under the lease. As Landlord, Wadworth are obliged to maintain the car park surface to a reasonable standard and use reasonable endeavours to ensure that the premises are kept available for the use of the Tenant (CRT). There is no right for the Tenant to use bins or locate bins on the areas in question and in particular there is an obligation on the the provision of water either. There is clearly an access provision to the area in question.
Some time ago, it became custom and practice for boaters to use the waste disposal facilities on site at the Bridge Inn. Of particular note, at one point, we gave CRT permission to provide additional waste disposal facilities on our land and also access rights to use these facilities notwithstanding what the lease says. The practicalities of this however are that unfortunately this is a situation that has become unmanageable (mostly so over the last two years or so). The reason being is that the Bridge Inn appears to have been more widely used as an opportunity to leave larger amounts of waste on site. I am also told that the issue has become even more acute given that there are now increased restrictions on members of the public using the nearby council recycling centre. Subsequently, Matt Smith is now finding that members of the public are fly-tipping which potentially could lead to significant Environmental Health problems. This has put some considerable strain and cost onto Matt Smith in the operation of his business.
In subsequent conversations with CRT, we have therefore advised CRT to remove their waste bins from the pub as this situation was becoming untenable and the discretionary effort by Matt Smith to provide a service amenity was becoming abused more widely. I have seen and heard the feedback about this which is indeed unfortunate. The change however is necessary as it is not right that Matt Smith has to foot the bill for waste disposal clearance on the site for rubbish other than that which his business generates or is more than a reasonable amount of waste from temporary moored boaters. What I do appreciate is that the fly tipping issue is potentially an issue from a wider population locally. To this end, it was indeed right that gates were erected at the Bridge to discourage others from accessing the site other than pub customers or temporary moorers who need access to the rear land to park cars and access their boats. There is no breach of right of access as the gates are not locked and there remains a managed, more controlled, passage through.
In my view, the collective goodwill of Wadworth and Matt Smith and his team has unfortunately been taken advantage of over time. There is additional burden being placed on the pub team with additional waste, risk, cost and inconvenience. Our team are in contact with CRT as it is clear to me that perhaps boaters have been put in a difficult predicament versus their original expectations from that which was advertised. I do further understand however that CRT have canal side waste disposal facilities a short distance away from the Bridge and so this amenity does still exist not far away for boaters.
I have also seen and heard views that Matt will turn off the water supply that is available for the temporary moorings. This will not be the case. Indeed, to provide an even better solution, CRT are looking at installing their own water supply which will remove any complications of bill payment and meter reading issues linked with the pub.
The Bridge Inn is a destination type pub operation. The vast majority of customers drive to the pub and it is imperative therefore that the external appearance of the pub is kept to a high standard including the car park and surrounding areas. We also cannot also lose sight of the fact that Matt Smith is a self-employed business operator and is dependent on attracting trade from the local area in addition to offering a convenient stopping off point for temporary boat users and can and should have the right to decide how he operates his business in the face of the adversity and strain that this situation has caused him and his team.
Thank you once again for taking the time to contact me directly and I trust this clarifies the situation.
Chief Executive Officer
tel 01380 723361 mob 07920 149494