Archive for July, 2010

Hit and Run

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

Following the severe dent put in Whimbrel by the drunken crew of the boat Warneford, owned by RNAS Yeovilton but managed by a hire boat company, on a weekend that featured many late night booze cruises by overloaded boats of drunk and frequently abusive young men we thought we would help.

So if you experience any anti-social bahaviour or collision from a hire boat out of office hours, please ring Steve Lewis, local enforcement officer on 07771 943152 at any time of day of night.

As enforcement officer it is, of course, Steve’s job to police such behaviour and we are certain he will welcome your call.

It goes without saying that all such incidents should be reported both to the hire boat company and British Waterways as soon as possible and a claim submitted for any damage involved.

We’ll keep you posted on the progress of the good ship Whimbrel’s claim for repair of what is substantial damage to the hull and immediate interior.

Payments from Local Councils to BW amount to £550,000

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

At one of the meetings between boaters, BW and Wiltshire Council Ken Oliver, Wiltshire Council’s Canal Officer, made a comment about the amount of money that Councils pay each year to BW. Wanting to know the amounts and what this money was for I made FOI requests to BW, Wiltshire Council, B&NES and West Berkshire Council, asking for amounts that they had paid to or received from BW in the last five years.

As usual, the figures received from the Councils and from BW don’t match, but judging from the recent totally inaccurate FOI replies from BW I feel it is more likely the Council ones are accurate. The amounts in total come to a massive £552,955 paid to BW over a five-year period.

Read more…

Bradford on Avon Area Board to discuss mooring strategy

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

The local mooring strategy will be discussed at the Wiltshire Council Bradford on Avon Area Board on 21st July at Westwood Social Club, Leslie Rise, Lower Westwood. Please attend if you can. The venue is open from 6.30pm and the meeting starts at 7pm. The minutes and other information from the Bradford on Avon Area Board can be found at

See also for information about all the Area Boards.

Kennet and Avon Canal Trust AGM decisions made by only 50 members

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

A boater recently obtained the last 3 years AGM minutes from the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust, which is going to be working with BW in the management of the canal in a pilot project to try out BW’s proposed new charitable status. An average of only about 50 people voted and attended so if a lot of boaters joined up we could affect the Trust’s decisions. See our previous articles about the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust for the full details.

 The minutes can be found here k & a trust minutes 2007-2009

Boaters attend Wiltshire Area Board meetings

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

Boaters have attended the Wiltshire Council Area Board Meetings at Trowbridge and Pewsey recently. Here’s a report from the Trowbridge Area Board on 1st July.

Wiltshire Council’s canal officer Ken Oliver gave a brief update on the outcome of the recent meeting between BW, boaters and Wiltshire Council in Devizes on 1 June. He only spoke for about 5 minutes as Councillor Osborn had somewhat hijacked the meeting due to being unhappy about a £500,000 hole in library budgets.

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BW pledge to eliminate overstaying in two years

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

An article in the August 2010 Waterways World quotes one of the BW Directors, Simon Salem, who said that in the past two years BW has more or less eliminated licence evasion and the task  for BW enforcement now is to eliminate overstaying “within two years”.

Unfortunately Simon’s statement is contradicted by Sally “Foot in Mouth” Ash, who works in his department at BW HQ.

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B&NES Council include boat dwellers in traveller strategy

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

We have heard recently that the group within Bath and NE Somerset Council  which deals with travellers has got permission from the Strategic Directors to include boat dwellers in its work on Gypsies & Travellers. One of the B&NES officers responsible for its work with travellers says  “We will be making sure that this is reflected in our work as a group from now on”.

BW to revive roving mooring permit idea

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

We have just obtained via Freedom of Information the minutes of a meeting on 28 May between BW and a number of boating organisations such as NABO, the RBOA and the IWA about the results of the recent consultations on moorings policy and local mooring strategies. APCO, the trade body for the hire boat industry, was also at the meeting. Not only do these minutes make it even clearer that the local mooring strategies are going to specifically target boats without moorings:

“The strategies should define how far a boater must move in order to comply with BW CC guidance”.

 These minutes also reveal that BW is reviving the idea of the Roving Mooring Permit:

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BW and the K and A Trust: After the apology, the answers!

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

I have now had a response from BW to my request for an internal review of its refusal to send me minutes of meetings with the K&A Trust. Here it is:

Further to Caroline Killeavy’s correspondence with you I am responding to your request for all documents regarding: …“Please could you send me the minutes or notes of all meetings between British Waterways and the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust which took place between 1 January 2009 and 23 March 2010. Please could you send me copies of all email correspondence and notes of telephone calls and conversations to British Waterways from the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust between 1 January 2009 and 23 March 2010. Please could you send me copies of all email correspondence and notes of telephone calls and conversations to the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust from British Waterways between 1 January 2009 and 23 March 2010. Please could you send me a list of the dates, times, locations and attendees of meetings between British Waterways and the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust between 1 January 2009 and 23 March 2010.”

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