Boaters’ meeting and local mooring strategy update

About 35 boaters attended the meeting on September 21 and helped to reduce the Georgian Lodge’s surplus of Guinness. At the meeting, boaters agreed a statement of what they wanted from the Local Mooring Strategy:

“Following discussion with boaters, unaffiliated boaters have the following aspirations for the outcome of the local mooring strategy, listed in order of importance.

There was unanimous or strong support for the following:

BW to enforce Section 17 (3) (c) ii of the 1995 Act fairly and consistently

No reduction in the amount of 14-day mooring space

BW to dredge and maintain the canal and towpath to expand places available for mooring

No ‘No return within’ restrictions

No charges for overstaying

An emphasis on Section 17 (3) (c) ii where it reads ‘…14 days or such longer period as is reasonable in the circumstances

There was some support for the following:

A reduction in the space for visitor moorings (24, 48 and 72 hour)

Fewer winter moorings close to access points and water etc.

An end to using visitor moorings as winter moorings as they restrict access to facilities

Better maintenance of the canal, especially locks

A cap on the numbers of hire boats

Hire boat companies to provide better training in boat handling and guidance on behaviour for hirers

The existing number of hire boats is fine but no more

Boaters also noted where BW has done well:

BW is to be congratulated that boaters communicating about their needs for staying longer does work

The following point was made:

BW to make it clear that they are willing to listen when boaters need to stay longer, and to have it written clearly somewhere.”

This statement has now been forwarded to the members  for discussion at the next local mooring strategy meeting.

The boaters’ meeting also discussed who should be the second representative for “unaffiliated boaters” on the Local Mooring Strategy Steering Group and it was agreed that a pool of  5 boaters should rotate this according to availability, as the meetings were during the day and it was not easy for one person to get to them all. The first representative was also endorsed by the meeting.

The Local Mooring Strategy Steering Group has met twice, on 26 August and 21 September. Minutes were taken at the second meeting and are also attached together with the agendas for the first meetings. At present the steering group is discussing its terms of reference and its memorandum of understanding; members’ vision for what they think the strategy should achieve, and a list of “attitude statements” which are meant to explore further the desired outcome of the strategy, in an attempt to get a “vision” all members can agree with. All these documents are in draft form, but we will publish them if and when they are finalised, subject to confidentiality.

BW has provided the Local Mooring Strategy Steering Group with what they call the baseline information being used to make decisions, such as the number of permanent moorings between Bath and Devizes. This information is factual but very limited – for instance it doesn’t even include the numbers of people living on boats. BW has produced a set of maps on paper to go with this which show, among other things, the boundaries between the kilometre lengths BW use to log boat locations. A lot of people have been trying to find this out and we hope to post a free source version of this information soon. In the meantime, email if you want a photocopy.

The next meeting of the local mooring strategy steering group is 8 November, 10am at County Hall, Trowbridge. Here are the minutes of the second local mooring strategy meeting, including a list of who is on the group Local Mooring Strategy minutes 21 September 2010 

Here is BW’s “baseline information” BW’s Baseline Information

And here is the agenda for the first local mooring strategy meeting Agenda for mooring strategy meeting 26 Aug 2010

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