Why did we bother?

The following report appeared on Narrowboatworld yesterday, see:
It says:

Mooring consultations

Monday, 26 April 2010 08:13

BRITISH Waterways’ consultation on moorings policy received 180 responses, and a team of 11 volunteers from across the network have analysed the responses and their findings are now being discussed with the national boating organisations.
A report summarising the feedback will be published by the end of April although individual responses (with personal information removed) are already available to view via the BW website, with a spokesman reporting:

“Because there was a clear majority consensus supporting the concept of local mooring strategies, BW would like to move ahead with the first pilot project on the western end of the Kennet & Avon Canal. Working with the national boating organisations, BW proposes establishing a representative steering group to proceed with the development of this pilot moorings strategy with a view to consulting on and then implementing the strategy in early winter 2010.”

Despite this report on Narrowboatworld, BW has not published its analysis yet, and there is no press release confirming the above on BW’s web site yet. The 180 responses refers to the consultation on National Mooring Policy. BW has actually published only 163 of these responses – I wonder what happened to the other 17?? No reference is made in this press statement to the consultation on Local Mooring Strategies although BW has published 98 responses to this consultation. The results of that consultation may be significantly different, if anyone has time to read all the responses before going to the K&A Users’ Forum this Thursday. See


The agenda for the User Group meeting includes an update on the issue of Mooring Strategy groups, presented by Sally Ash. See agenda below from BW.

Kennet and Avon Canal User Group Meeting, 29 April 2010 1900hrs – 2100hrs

Proposed Agenda

The following items are proposed for inclusion on the User Group Meeting Agenda. The final Agenda will be amended if necessary to reflect appropriate items and questions that are raised prior to the meeting.

1. National Update: British Waterways and the Third Sector

2. Local Update: The Kennet and Avon

3. Works Progress (including 2009/2010 Stoppage Works)

4. Mooring Strategy Update (Sally Ash)

5. Planned Works, 2010/2011

6. British Waterways and The Kennet and Avon Trust

7. Kennet and Avon 200

8. Water Resources and the Kennet and Avon Canal

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One Response to “Why did we bother?”

  1. posh MonsterID Icon posh says:


    I think we knew that the consultation process was just simply ‘box-ticking’ by BW on the way to instituting a policy which they had already decided to proceed with.

    Our opposition to the Local Mooring Strategy strand of this policy is part of our commitment to protecting the future of the K&A and access to it for boat people now and in the future… this in the face of BWs history of harassment of legitimate boaters and general mismanagement of the canal.

    Personally, I am interested to hear the statistical response to the local consultation. If the national consultation supports BWs local mooring policy, I am sure the local consultation will not. If they are claiming a democratic basis for proceeding with the local mooring strategy, the same argument is likely to preclude it from being trialed on the K&A (west).

    My last point on why we bothered is that BWs policy creators needed our help. They are blinkered by their singular point of view. They do not see our homes and families living legitmately on the canal, they see us as a problem in the way of business and uniformity.

    However, BW have missed the point. These are our homes. Their policy is not legal. They license us, the law defines our lifestyle, different laws protect our homes from oppressive organisations. We bothered to respond to the consultation in the hope that they recognise these facts before making a drastic mistake…. that they could magic away real people with real homes and real jobs and real families. That they could do this and they could end up looking clever rather than simply malevolent and that the law and broader population wouldn’t care.

    We tried to help them recognise these facts. We did our best. It looks like they will blunder forward. We will resist. We will overcome, they will not succeed.