Archive for September, 2011

Another opportunity to lobby MPs about the Public Bodies Bill

Monday, September 26th, 2011

The Public Bill Committee is not likely to consider the transfer of British Waterways to charity status until after 10th October when it will examine Schedule 5 of the Public Bodies Bill and BW’s amendment (99A) to the Bill. This means there is another opportunity to lobby the Committee etc. Here are four things you can do.

1. Write to your MP.
2. Write to the 19 MPs on the Public Bill Committee – members have already considered letters they have had on other issues.
3. Submit written evidence to the Committee – members of the public can do this, and some of us have done so already.
4. See your MP at one of their surgeries.

An example letter, contact details for the Committee members, guidance on submitting evidence and how to find MPs surgeries are below.

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Stop the Bonus Payments to BW Directors

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

A petition here;

No bonuses for British Waterways directors

Responsible department: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

British Waterways employees were denied a pay rise last year due to ‘lack of funds’. This year some staff were awarded a £200 PA rise and were told that there was no more money to offer.

It was recently announced that as there would be a 9 Million Pound defecit at the end of this financial year

The Directors of British Waterways will be paid lump sum bonuses of up to £15,000 this year. The Chief Executive (Robin Evans) will get a £15,000 payment on top of his annual wage of £222,000. Other Directors will all receive a £12,500 lump sum payment.

The bonuses equate to one third of the whole pay pot for 0.5% of BW staff compared to two thirds of the pot being shared between 99.5% of the staff.

The signatories of this petition believe that the government should intervene and stop these bonus payments and the money should be spent on waterway maintenance instead.

Example response to second consultation on BW charity

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Here is an example response to the second DEFRA consultation on transferring BW to charity status. Despite complaints, the deadline is still 24th October. It’s always best to put responses in your own words, if possible. The example response contains an introductory statement, replies to the questions about England and Wales, and replies to the questions about Scotland. If you answer the questions about Scotland there’s a separate email address for the replies. Please take the time to respond if you can – it’s important that DEFRA is aware of our concerns.

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14 Days or Such Longer Period as is Reasonable in the Circumstances

Monday, September 19th, 2011

A boat without a home mooring may stay for longer than 14 continuous days in one place if it is reasonable in the circumstances, according to the 1995 British Waterways Act. It is advisable to inform BW if you need to do this, and keep them updated of your circumstances and when you expect to leave.

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Anarchists Ahoy!

Friday, September 16th, 2011

We spotted this on one of the blogs that likes to keep up with our doings;

“Well done sue, a separate boat licence for those who wish to stay in one place to work etc, not paying for moorings or marina berths like the rest of us, taking up prime towpath moorings near towns should be charged at a premium!
As for the kanda website i have been aware of it for some time now and have concluded from the fact that they are obviously well organised and researched that they may be more than mere troublemakers and could in fact be some kind of anarchist contingent!
I am following you’re blog with interest and would like to hear others opinions on how to can deal with this potential menace! David”

I think you’ll find, David, that we are far more than a ‘potential’ menace but thank you for the compliments, we like to think our research is good.

Now off to try and organise a cup of tea.

Important second consultation on BW transfer to charity

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

DEFRA and BW have announced a second consultation on certain aspects of the order which will transfer BW to charity status. This will take place between  12th September and 24th October. In particular the consultation covers whether the new waterways charity should be subject to the Freedom of Information Act. Please respond to the consultation – there have been a lot of them recently but this is also important!

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Using the Data Protection Act

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

The Data Protection Act entitles individuals to see all the information that an organisation holds on them. This applies to all organisations, not just public sector bodies. To get this information, you need to write to the organisation and say you are making a Subject Access Request under the Data Protection Act for all the information the organisation holds on you. You will need to tell them your name, address and any other information that will prove who you are and help them locate the information, such as a customer number or boat name and registration number.

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DEFRA announce results of consultation on new waterways charity

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

DEFRA has published a brief analysis of the results of the consultation on moving the inland waterways to charity status, together with the Government’s response to the consultation replies. Considering the complexity of the consultation questions and the magnitude of the decisions to be made, both the summary of replies and the Government’s response are disappointingly lightweight and lacking in detail.

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Boaters submit evidence to Public Bodies Bill committee

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

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.

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BW backs down on Lee and Stort mooring restrictions

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Following strong opposition from boaters in London, BW has backed down over its proposals for draconian and unlawful mooring restrictions for boats without moorings on the Lee, Stort and Hertford Union navigations. However, BW still proposes to set up a local mooring strategy along the lines of the K and A mooring strategy. BW has also proposed to issue ‘roving mooring permits’ which ‘allow’ the boater to do what they are already entitled to do under Section 17 (3) c ii of the 1995 British Waterways Act, at a proposed cost equivalent to an average permanent mooring fee.

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