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Tony Dunkley

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Everything posted by Tony Dunkley

  1. I wonder, can anyone amongst those who think removing "Planet'' from Canning Dock was C&RT's best course of action explain why Sharpness should have been considered preferable to Birkenhead Docks, about a mile across the Mersey, or Garston Docks, about 6 miles upriver from Canning Dock ?
  2. In reality there's no prospect of any kind of legal action with regard to trespass, unless that is, C&RT are even more stupid than I think they are, . . . . which is highly improbable. It is, however, worth spending a few moments considering just how C&RT imagine they can argue that they've removed the vessel from their property, or waters, when in fact they haven't done any such thing. All they have done is to blow in excess of £20,000 on moving it from where they could not serve a Section 8 Notice on it to location where they can do so. As I said a few posts back, it may possibly be their intention to Section 8 "Planet" now that they've 'un-removed' into the G&S.
  3. If you look back a post or two, I think you'll find those questions have already been answered, and if there were any Certificated Bailiffs present, with or without any sort of Court Order, don't you think C&RT would be falling over themselves to prove it ?
  4. It's the word 'Legal' added on after 'Solicitor' that amuses me, . . . perhaps it is intended to avoid any confusion about just what sort of soliciting is going on.
  5. E-mail to C&RT earlier today :~ Ex-Light Vessel "Planet" - Liverpool F.A.O. Chantelle Seaborn. I am authorized and appointed by the owner, Mr Alan Roberts, to act on his behalf in any and all matters concerning the above named vessel. We have reason to believe that the forcible seizure of the above named vessel was a criminal act on the part of the Canal and River Trust [C&RT] and that the unidentified, and unidentifiable, personnel who boarded and broke into the vessel on the morning of Monday 19 September 2016 were not authorized Officers of the Court, but employees of either the C&RT or contractors engaged by the C&RT. It has been established that at the time of the forcible seizure no Writ of Execution or any other Court Order was in force in respect of the vessel. No paperwork of any sort was either shown to or left with the ship owners representative, who was forcibly prevented from re-boarding while the unidentified personnel, under the direction of C&RT's Harbour Master Andrew Goudie, proceeded to cut off locks and break into cabins and compartments. As a matter of some urgency we require the C&RT to provide the following :~ * Copies of the documentation upon which the Trust relied as authorization to effect forcible entry into and to seize the ship. * Identification details, ie. employer, occupation and position, of all the personnel accompanying and assisting the Trust's Harbour Master. Hard copies to the ship's owner, Mr Alan Roberts, and E-mailed copies to me no later than 3.30pm this afternoon. Signed A.K.Dunkley. (Owners representative) _________________________________________________________ C&RT's reply :~ Dear Mr Dunkley I refer to my earlier email where I indicated to you that we have instructed Shoosmiths to act for the Trust in this matter. Please send any future correspondence relating to Planet Lightship Vessel directly to me and to Lucy Barry at Shoosmiths. With regard to the documents you have requested, the relevant documents are the Trust’s letters to Mr Roberts dated 15th April 2016 and 5th August 2016 and the berthing agreement. Mr Roberts already has copies of these documents in his possession. I cannot see the relevance of your request for the identity of persons referred to in your email below. As I stated in my email to you this morning Shoosmiths will be responding to the legal points you have raised. Kind Regards Thami Nomvete Solicitor Legal _____________________________ In light of the fact that C&RT told the two police officers who attended at their request that the personnel boarding and seizing the ship were "Bailiffs", the desire to preserve their anonymity displayed in the above E-mail, is somewhat odd, and would seem to merit further explanation. Could it be that the explanation lies in them introducing themselves to the man they ejected from the ship as "Water Bailiffs", . . . is it possible that C&RT pressed them into service having found them on the canal towpath presiding over a local fishing match ?
  6. This particular episode of boat thieving differs considerably from C&RT's usual Section 8 antics in that S.8 of the 1983 Act is not applicable to the old Liverpool Docks now under C&RT control, and for that reason they have, correctly, refrained from issuing a Section 8 Notice in respect of "Planet" whilst it remained in Canning Dock. With the vessel now on C&RT waters [the G&S] where S.8 of the 1983 Act is applicable, slapping a Section 8 Notice on it may well be their next move, and it's not beyond the realms of possibility that creating the opportunity to do just that was one of their reasons for moving it to Sharpness. Deprived of their much loved and abused S.8 powers in Liverpool, C&RT had no option but to rely on their Berthing Agreement T&C's, one in particular of which is specific to seizing and selling vessels but not enforceble because it goes beyond what the law requires and permits, and a mix of non-waterways related, UK statute and common law, . . . and they've made a phenomenal bog-up of it ! If you go back to post #99, Nigel has already covered what you've asked for.
  7. In fact neither of the two posts you've quoted is ''a load of nonsense". When the earlier post of the two was made on 21 September C&RT had NOT, at that time and date, obtained a Debt Judgment, or for that matter, any other sort of Judgment, against the owner of the vessel for arrears of berthing fees, or anything else. The sole inaccuracy in that post arises out of my belief, held in good faith at that time, that C&RT had yet to issue proceedings, and I have no problem in admitting that the information I had relied on was wrong. However, as reflected in the second of the two posts quoted, the situation changed, as situations frequently do with the passage time, when on the afternoon of Friday 23 September a Judgment was entered in C&RT's favour at Liverpool County Court in the sum of £5686.65, being arrears of unpaid berthing fees. What you describe as 'mutually exclusive', and apparently find so difficult to comprehend, are in reality nothing more than the by-products of the passage of time accompanied by a simple change of circumstances.
  8. With regard to your first sentence, . . that isn't in fact what I said. As for 1) No argument there at all, but there was/is a suitable and secure berth with no public access about 250 yards from where the ship was laying, alongside the narrow spit of land between the drydocks and the half-tide dock, in line with the disused gates to the river. As for 2) In light of 1) above, they can't argue any such thing. The cost of moving "Planet" to Sharpness was in excess of £20,000, . . . . the 250 yard tow across to the drydock side wall in the half-tide dock would have cost considerably less.
  9. If going " mental " means it over-revved uncontrollably, and now turns over easily at or above the normal cold cranking speed on the starter button, then you've had what's called a "runaway" and you're likely to have some resulting damage to the piston crown(s), cylinder head(s), and/or valves. Turn the fuel supply off at the tank, get rid of the excess fuel / lube oil mixture out of the crankcase, and find out if there's still any compression on any or all three cylinders.
  10. The C&RT letter copied below is one example of the only form of notice naming the vessel and the owner, served on either throughout the entire course of the dispute. This poorly worded and somewhat incomprehensible document is the full extent of what C&RT relied on as their 'authority' to take possession of and sell the named vessel. The forceful seizure of the vessel on Tuesday last was carried out by C&RT's Harbour Master, Andy Goudie, in the company of several other men equipped with bolt cutters, crowbars and sledgehammers. No form of identity was either shown or worn and they introduced themselves as "Water Bailiffs" and "Enforcement Officers" working for C&RT. Once aboard they forcibly ejected the sole occupant, Gary Anderton, and proceeded to cut off locks and/or otherwise to open or break in to every compartment and cabin. They have obtained a Debt Judgment in their favour in respect of a County Court Claim for unpaid berthing fees, but have not yet given the Court a final figure for the claimed amount. Neither, therefore, have they yet been able to apply for, or obtain, a Writ of Execution, or any other form of lawful enforcement of the Debt Judgment. It is worthy of note that despite the emphasis in the 5 August letter on the imperative of removing the vessel from their 'waterspace' in Liverpool, C&RT then subsequently squander a vast sum of money [ I will know roughly how much fairly soon, and will post the figure] in NOT removing it from their 'waterspace' at all, but having it towed to Sharpness merely to berth it in a different bit of their 'waterspace' there. ____________________________ FAO: Mr Alan Roberts 5th August 2016 And/or The Current Owner(s) or Person(s) in control of Planet Light Vessel in Canning Dock (Two Copies of this Letter attached to Planet Light Vessel in Canning Dock addressed to persons named above ) Our Ref TNomvete Your Ref Dear Mr Roberts and/or the current owners or persons in control of Planet Light Vessel, RE. Planet Light at Canning Dock On the 15th April 2016 the Canal & River Trust (the Trust) sent Mr Roberts a letter requiring the payment of unpaid berthing fees for the period 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2015, and confirming that, since 1st January 2016, Planet Light (the Vessel) has been berthed without our permission over our waterspace at Canning Dock (‘our Waterspace’). In the letter, the Trust requested the removal of the Vessel from our Waterspace and made it clear that if the Vessel was not removed by the 14th May 2016, the Trust would take steps to remove and sell it, and deduct and costs and expenses incurred in doing so from the proceeds of sale. We are also extremely concerned that the Vessel has continued to trade as a bar notwithstanding that we have confirmed to you that trading is not permitted as you are no longer licensed to remain in our Waterspace. In addition we have had two separate reports from 4th June and 30th July 2016 of people jumping from the Vessel into our Waterspace. This is very dangerous and raises grave health and safety concerns for the Trust which we have reported the incidents to the licensing section of the Local Authority and to the police. As any continuing use of the Vessel in our Waterspace is unauthorised, and given the serious health and safety concerns we have, this letter serves as notice that as from the date of this letter, you do not have our consent to enter in, or onto our Waterspace, until we have removed the Vessel. If you have made arrangements for the removal of the Vessel from our Waterspace yourself, you should contact Andrew Goudie, the harbour master, on 07920862741 or 01517096558. If you enter onto or over any part of our Waterspace, and/or continue any trade at the Vessel, you will be doing so without our permission and will therefore be trespassing on the Trust’s land. To deal with such trespass, we will consider making a court application for an injunction to (1) prevent you or any other persons authorised by you (including without limitation, employees, business associates) from accessing our Waterspace until such time as we have removed the Vessel, and/or (2) to prevent you from continuing any trade from the Vessel. We trust that we have made our position clear. We are making arrangements to remove the Vessel from our Waterspace. It is in your interests to remove the Vessel yourself, as you will be liable to us for any costs we incur associated with such removal and its storage elsewhere, and we may dispose of the Vessel to recover our costs. Yours faithfully Canal & River Trust Thami Nomvete Solicitor
  11. There are links to news reports, and there has been a lot of wild speculation in this thread about what the owner of "Planet", Alan Roberts, has done to deserve having his ship stolen from him, but I don't see anything that comes near to being an established 'fact'. In the main, what I have seen are large helpings of unthinking prejudice and bigotry, and the now customary 'presumption of probity' to which C&RT are all too frequently treated.
  12. No-one expected the Spanish Inquisition either !
  13. Perhaps one of the Mods has recently bought an Axiom propeller ventilation fan, and can't bear to be reminded about it ?
  14. Try not to see it as a complete waste of time, . . . at least you will know who not to expect any sympathy from if C&RT turn up one day and steal your boat.
  15. The owner of the Lightship has been guilty of a great many wrongs in the lead up to this regrettable state of affairs, as I have already said in an earlier post, and is undoubtedly the main architect of a good many of his own difficulties, but he is NOT the party to the dispute that is knowingly indulging in continuing illegal, or even criminal, activity in the course of it.
  16. Whether or not you, or any other forum contributors, take me seriously is of no concern or consequence whatsoever. As for the reason for moving "Planet" from Liverpool to Sharpness, this was done for precisely the same reason that Geoff Mayer's boat "Pearl" was transported from Northwich to Gloucester, after being illegally seized in direct contravention of a Judge's directions, and Leigh Ravenscroft's boat was transported from Newark to Chester after being unnecessarily and unlawfully seized on private property at nearby [to Newark] Farndon.
  17. No, nothing like a well meaning, but quite possibly somewhat over ambitious and misguided individual, getting himself into financial difficulties.
  18. There is a great deal of evidence and hard facts, none of which shows C&RT in a good light, or their actions and conduct to be anything other than ill-advised and/or illegal, . . . but it happens that at this stage neither you nor any of the rest of C&RT's dedicated apologists and cheerleaders are privy to very much of it.
  19. I agree, he, along with a few others, is missing the point. However, it would be very wrong to believe that this disgraceful and quite unnecessary episode is anything more than the result of C&RT being in a position to extend the scope of their destructive and malevolent influence beyond merely our inland waterways. The long running dispute between the old lightship owner and C&RT, it has been festering for over a year now, has seen much wrong, and fault on both sides, but those responsible for the running and administration of the old South Docks now under C&RT ownership and control have singularly failed to handle it in a way that measures up to what can, and should, reasonably be expected from such an organization. Rather than working towards an outcome beneficial to all or most of those concerned, including and especially themselves and the city of Liverpool, they elected to reduce matters to the level of a personal and very expensive squabble focused entirely on nothing other than depriving yet another individual of his boat. The events of last week, culminating in the "Planet" being moved at enormous expense, and for no good reason, from C&RT's Canning Dock to C&RT's Sharpness Dock, were nothing more than a festival of negativity, bloody-mindedness and spite, and I think the fact that they proved themselves incapable of rising above such conduct speaks volumes as to the sort of organization C&RT is, to say nothing of the calibre and worth of it's management.
  20. Whilst that is unquestionably what C&RT have been doing with regard to waterways specific legislation until a few days ago, they have now grown sufficiently in [misplaced] confidence to progress to the illegal seizure of a vessel under what amounts to their own amendments to the provisions of the 1977 Torts (Interference with Goods) Act, which is UK statute law, and therefore separate and independent from any of the statutory powers they enjoy, and abuse, under any of the various BW Acts. Up until the moment when "Planet" passed through Canning Dock gates into the Mersey, C&RT were entitled, as creditors, to retain possession of the vessel as bailees exercising a lawful lien over a debtor's property which remained on/in their property/premises, ie. Canning Dock. From the moment when the vessel entered the Mersey, C&RT have been illegally in possession of another's property without the entitlement a Court Order, executed by a Court appointed bailiff, following on from a Debt Judgment would otherwise have given them. Their prior stated intent to retain possession against payment of a claimed but unspecified sum of money, including removal, towing and storage charges, for which they have no Debt Judgment, makes a criminal act of the subsequent seizure [for the sole purpose of removal], and the continuing possession of the ship elsewhere than in the C&RT owned Dock. C&RT are in big trouble with this, and they have only themselves to thank for that. They were informed, in writing, on the morning of 21 Sept 2016 that what they were proposing to do was unnecessary, ill-advised and illegal, but they elected to go ahead regardless, and it will cost them dear.
  21. Not relevant. C&RT introduced their 'red herring' safety concerns by lying about 'Planet' not having a 'valid hull survey' in June of this year, . . . . so roughly about the same time that they were lying about 'safety concerns' in an attempt to justify their illegal refusal to issue a new Licence for 'Tadworth'.
  22. In order to dispense with any more groundless speculation along these lines, the vessel underwent a satisfactory hull survey in April this year.
  23. It certainly is, but the crassness exhibited by C&RT in the process of committing such criminal act is almost beyond belief. Whilst the vessel in question remained in/on their waters within Canning Dock they were completely within their rights as bailees to exercise a lawful lien on it in respect of monies owed for berthing fees, but rather than do so, they elected to shoot themselves in both feet by converting what was lawful possession into an illegal seizure and removal accompanied by clear declaration, in the last paragraph of the following E-mail, of intent to use what had now become unlawful possession as a means of debt recovery . Subject: Planet Bar Lightship 20 September 2016 Dear Mr Roberts I am writing to confirm that yesterday we secured your vessel in preparation for removing it from the docks. The reason for this is because, in spite of our letters to you dated 15th April 2016 and 5th August 2016, you have not removed your vessel from the docks, notwithstanding that your berthing agreement expired on 31st December 2015. Copies of these letters are attached. We have taken possession of the vessel in order to remove it to a secure location. At no time should you or any other persons (who are not authorised by us) enter the vessel or attempt to obstruct the process of removing the vessel. Such action would be deemed a trespass as it would be unauthorised access on to our water space. We will, if considered necessary, seek the assistance of the police to manage any action by you or others that is, or may become a breach of the peace in the course of our preparing the vessel for removal and removing it from our dock. Our lawful authority to remove the vessel is based on our rights set out in clause 8.1 and 10.1.2 of the berthing agreement that applied to your licence to berth your vessel at our docks. A copy of the agreement is attached to enable you to refer to it easily. With regard to the payment of the outstanding berthing fees arrears, as you know this matter is being handled on our behalf by Wilkin Chapman Solicitors. Whatever the outcome of this debt recovery action, matters have reached the point where we are unwilling to issue you with a new berthing agreement even if you do pay all the arrears claimed in the debt action. We will contact you after the removal of the vessel from the dock in respect of charges and monies due, and how the vessel may be recovered after payment of all outstanding monies to ourselves. Chantelle Seaborn DipFM MRICS FCIH Waterway Manager North West North West Waterways
  24. By way of addition to the information in Nigel's post #99, I can confirm that C&RT are NOT acting in pursuance of the S.8 powers in the 1983 Act. They are, however, relying on two clauses in the berthing agreement, one of which is a somewhat misleading overstatement of that which they legally may do under the provisions of the 1977 Torts Act. Had they contented themselves with exercising a lawful lien on the vessel, as they were entitled to do whilst it remained within a dock that they own, they would have been acting entirely within the law, but the ill-advised removal of the ship from the dock has merely deprived C&RT of such 'right' as they did have on their side, up until that point.
  25. Thank you for that useful bit of information. During the preparations to make the ship safe for sea over the last few days, C&RT had led the tug operators to believe that Fleetwood was the intended destination, however, Sharpness makes far more sense, and if it is heading that way then the intended destination may well be R.W.Davis's yard on the G&S at Saul to join another monument to C&RT's stupidity, . . . . Geoff Mayer's boat 'Pearl', illegally snatched from it's owner in 2013 in direct contravention of a Judge's instructions.
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