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erivers last won the day on June 17 2018

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  1. The registration of boats will be in byelaws yet to be introduced. Consultation on these is expected shortly and the latest indication is that registration charges will be introduced from 2020. The designation as the fourth largest navigation authority is in terms of the length of waterway under the control of the MLC. It controls 120 miles of waterway of which 100 miles are statutory navigations.
  2. Probably persuaded by the up-front sweeteners paid by some of these operators to secure the contracts. The owner of District Enforcement (based in Derbyshire) has even got himself appointed as a director of the River Thames Alliance Ltd. to wheedle more business. Danylo Kurpil
  3. In respect of the Environment Agency Thames mooring places, it's worth looking at what the primary legislation - the Thames Conservancy Act 1932 - has to say about charges for use of moorings: "The Conservators may from time to time demand and receive in respect of vessels using any of the moorings in the Thames belonging to the Conservators the charges appointed by byelaws of the Conservators for the time being in force save that no charge shall be made for vessels tied up at night or for a reasonable time when not at work unless the traffic of the Thames is thereby impeded." There are no charges specified in current byelaws. Mooring at night is free. Mooring for a reasonable time is free. The primary legislation is clear. It is not for the EA, TVM or anyone else for that matter to make it up as they go along and demand unlawful charges and penalties.
  4. Apologies! I overlooked your reference to 'round one'.
  5. Try to keep up please Alan!!! :0 Things have moved on a bit since then. The Reading Magistrates Court decision was later overturned in the Appeal Court in favour of the EA, so boats in Thames marinas must now be licensed, but it only applies to the EA Thames waterway because of the specific wording of the Thames Conservancy Act 1932. On EA Anglian waters, the legislation is different - the Anglian Waterway Authority Act 1977 - and although the definition of waterway here includes "any cut, inlet, creek" the relevance to marinas has yet to be fully tested. Meanwhile, the EA claim that boats in marinas must be licensed. The subject was one of the arguments in the EA v (Hartford Marina floating lodge owners) appeal which the EA lost. However, as this was so clearly decided against the EA by the High Court Judges on the definition of 'vessels' alone, it was not necessary to pursue or for the judges to consider the 'marina' issue.
  6. Slightly off topic, but this was one of the subjects of petitions and consideration by the recent House of Lords Opposed Bill Committee on the Middle Level Bill. The ML Commissioners had sought to extend the full requirements of registration (including full fees) to all boats within adjacent waters including marinas. They were seeking to replicate the position on EA Thames (where the High Court (oddly!) found that private marinas to which the public had access were relevant 'adjacent waters') and EA Anglian (although the cuts, inlets and creeks definition of the legislation there has yet to be fully tested). The Lords amended the Middle Level Bill so that boats in marinas used primarily for residential purposes and that do not use the navigation are subject to registration but pay only the administrative fee of registering, not the full licence fee. This seems a very sensible and fair compromise to me. Boats in marinas are subject to the safety and insurance requirements of registration but without the burden of annual charges for navigation infrastructure which they do not use.
  7. How about River Island Marina at Isleham on the River Lark? Usually some spaces there at fairly reasonable rates. In Cambridgeshire but almost on the Suffolk border. River Island Marina, Isleham
  8. I’m sure I also remember Bryan and Arcturus operating from Cassiobury Park in Watford in the early 1970s.
  9. The complete text of the book is on the Basingstoke Canal Society's website. It's a great read. Basingstoke Canal Society Archive - Adelina
  10. Yes Mike, it is available here: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/lbill/2017-2019/middlelevel/Middle-Level-Bill-as-amended-in-committee-Lords.pdf and a summary of the amendments here: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/lbill/2017-2019/middlelevel/OBC-Amendments.pdf There were also a number of enforceable undertakings given by the Commissioners: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/lbill/2017-2019/middlelevel/Middle-Level-Bill-Undertakings-by-the-Promoter.pdf
  11. The Middle Level Bill (as significantly amended by the Opposed Bill Committee) passed its Third Reading in the House of Lords yesterday and will now be returned to the House of Commons.
  12. Although the aspiration to reopen the Little Ouse from Brandon to Thetford for navigation is very much alive and has great support from many quarters, including Thetford Town Council, Breckland District Council, IWA and EAWA it is not quite as easy as some might wish. There was a full, costed engineering survey completed in 2005 - AVAILABLE HERE - which showed that four new locks would be required and to make navigation possible for canal boats Brandon Lock would also need to be extended from its current 40 feet length. The most recent development was publication in September 2016 of the "River Little Ouse Waterspace Study" available from the Thetford TC website: http://www.thetfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/council/documents/ It's a pity that over the last year or so, the river between Brandon and Santon Downham (previously accessible to small cruisers) has become obstructed in places by fallen trees, removal of which no one will take responsibility for, and attempts by some 'nature' groups to re-wild the river by placement of large boulders to slow flows.
  13. In 1725 Thomas Badeslade (referring primarily to the effect of Denver Sluice) wrote that in some places "the bottom of the Ouse had become as high as the soil of the Fens". He said that "the River Ouse grew up, and the sands increased more between Salters Lode and Stow Bridge than in any other part of the river, occasioned chiefly by Downham Eau (or St John's Eau) through which part of the waters that should have helped to scour away the sand were turned out of the Ouse for that length of way; partly by turning many of the waters of Nene through Tong's Drain and partly by keeping the sluice doors shut most part of the summer, so that no fresh water at all was suffered to come that way to help scour out the river beneath the sluice." In more recent times, of course, and since the completion of the Relief Channel in the early 60s, the problem has been exacerbated by further lack of flow through Denver Sluice (and indeed, for some misguided years a deliberate EA policy not to use Denver at all except in extreme flood conditions) and the diversion of fresh water to the Essex reservoirs.
  14. In reality, Fenland District Council has created this problem through its own refusal to act for many years. The moorings have had signs advising a 36-hour limit but the council has never bothered to create byelaws which would enable them to enforce the limit. The only remedy that has been open to them is an action for trespass - a long-winded and probably expensive process. Unlike the EA's Anglian waterways where prior legislation on mooring prevents councils creating new byelaws, there has never been any reason why Fenland District Council should not do so. Byelaws can create a criminal offence and thus come with a great inducement not to be ignored. Instead, they have adopted a civil penalty scheme. It may work, but is much more likely to prove an annoyance to genuine visitors than a proper deterrent to those chancers who will always find a way to beat the system and will certainly ignore any Penalty Charge Notice placed on their boat in the full knowledge that enforcing payment will be next to impossible.
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