Write to your MP before BW Charity Bill goes to Commons Committee in September

The Public Bodies Bill, which will transfer BW to charity status, will be considered by the Public Bill Committee in the House of Commons between 8 September and 13 October. The Committee will consider the Bill in detail and probably make more amendments. The Committee Chair is David Amess, the Conservative MP for Southend West.

Please write to your own MP as a matter of urgency asking him/ her to make sure that the British Waterways amendment (99A) is deleted from the Bill. The transfer of BW to charity status poses a serious risk that liveaboard boaters, especially those without permanent moorings, will be made homeless by the New Waterways Charity. Please ask your family and friends to write to their MPs too.

You can find out who your MP is from

http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/ or http://www.writetothem.com/

You will need to enter a postcode. You don’t have to be registered to vote to contact an MP. If you have a postal address, contact the MP for that postcode area. Otherwise just contact the MP for the place you are currently moored, using the address and postcode of a nearby Post Office or pub, and say you live on a boat with no fixed address.

The postal address for MPs is: House of Commons, LONDON SW1A 0AA. Don Foster is the MP for Bath; Duncan Hames is the MP for Dundas to Hilperton; Claire Perry is the MP for Devizes to Pewsey and Richard Benyon is the MP for Hungerford to Newbury.

It’s always better to use your own words but here is an example letter:

____________________________MP
House of Commons
LONDON
SW1A 0AA

Date:

Dear

PUBLIC BODIES BILL: AMENDMENT 99A
Please can you convey my concerns to the Public Bill Committee (Chair, David Amess MP) before it starts to consider the Public Bodies Bill on 8 September.

I live on a boat on BW waterways. Please ensure that the British Waterways amendment (99A) is withdrawn from the Public Bodies Bill. I am concerned that the transfer of British Waterways to charity status will result in boat dwellers, especially those without permanent moorings, being made homeless by the New Waterways Charity. No such transfer should be made until the introduction of specific statutory protection for boat dwellers from harassment and unlawful eviction, applicable to those both with and without permanent moorings, equal to that enjoyed by the tenants of houses.

The transfer of British Waterways to charity status will remove the minimal protection boat dwellers have for their homes that derives from British Waterways status as a public body, namely the Human Rights Act, the Equality Act and the Freedom of Information Act. This must not be allowed to happen.

I look forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely

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