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Alan de Enfield

Boat seized and owner left homeless and sleeping in a car.

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I know many have little 'time' for TD, but should this happen to anyone ?

 

From NBW

Just another 'body' on the towpath

 PUBLISHED: WEDNESDAY, 28 OCTOBER 2020

TONY DUNKLEY’s Halcyon Daze has been seized by CaRT, writes Pam Pickett.

Four unidentified men, accompanied by enforcement officer Stuart Garner who was waving a Court Order, he claimed gave the Trust the right to evict Tony, and to take his boat.

Would be arrested

Tony Dunkley was advised that unless he left the boat willingly, he would be arrested, put in a cell overnight and his beloved rescue dog Betsy would be locked in the boat and then handed over to a Dog Warden on completion of the boats journey.

Tony’s boat was on a private mooring on the Trent, it had no working engine or power of any description.  The boat’s safety exemption scheme, as published on CaRT’s website was completed, details of Tony’s insurance were given but to no avail.

Payments refused

On no less than four occasions, I personally acting on Tony Dunkley’s behalf, attempted to make payments and each offer being refused.  Even though I referred to a Rivers Only Licence. At the last time of asking, Stuart Garner even raised the question of shore power used by Tony on his boat.

I have to ask what that has to do with the price of sliced bread!  Since when has shore power come under boat safety? Regardless, Tony at the age of 72 is just another body to be left homeless with nowhere to go, a proven method on the part of the Trust given its past history; leaving a woman in a nightdress homeless (she then lived in a tent), towing away a boat with a sick woman onboard.

Left elderly man on towpath

Even left an elderly man and his cat homeless on the towpath, all because he wanted to visit his sick mother.  The tip of the iceberg. However, if there is any satisfaction to be had here the eye watering cost to the Trust of snatching the wooden narrowboat Pearl, leaving this said man and his cat homeless, has to be it.

In order to put the record straight, in reply to speculation as the removal of Tony’s boat,  Tony was offered a BSS inspection by the Trust.  He accepted the offer, which was swiftly withdrawn by the Trust.  Tony then organised a BSS inspection himself, but unfortunately due to flooding the inspector was unable to attend.  Tony was then unwell with suspected coronavirus, he received two inclusive tests and was then asked to take a further test.

Advised to self-isolate

But unfortunately, none were available. Tony was therefore advised to self-isolate until such times that his COVID-19 symptoms had gone. The Trust therefore requested photographs of the interior of Tony’s boat and his engine, to verify whether or not it was BSS exempt. Photographs were duly supplied and refuted by the Trust that still continued to query the status of the engine.  Despite the engine being visibility in pieces, as it has been for several years.

To reiterate Tony Dunkley is 72 years old, has severe and chronic Asthma and has suffered with previously undiagnosed and now reoccurring Cellulitis, and during these frequent reoccurrences he is unable to drive or even walk.  And in addition, Tony Dunkley is suffering from kidney stones, a very painful condition.  So, could you honestly tell me that as a result of your direct actions of removing his boat, do you think that a car, with a damp and cold atmosphere and nowhere to comfortably stretch out, is a suitable environment for anybody?  Let alone for someone with so many medication problems?

Sent to wrong address

In conclusion Tony Dunkley has attempted to work within the statute book, though one has to ask whether the Trust has in actuality followed suit?  Bearing in mind that when Tony Dunkley received his first Section 8 Notice from CaRT, that notice failed to contain all information to any boater who wishes to make a defence, thus enabling the Trust to virtually rubber stamp any Section 8 claim.  In addition to this, the last paperwork sent to Tony Dunkley by the Trust, was addressed to an address at which Tony Dunkley had not resided for six years.

Time to bring back British Waterways that were accountable to higher authority and to get rid of CaRT that is only responsible to itself.  And doing a lousy job to boot.  I rest my case.

 

  • Greenie 2

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4 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

I know many have little 'time' for TD, but should this happen to anyone ?

 

From NBW

Just another 'body' on the towpath

 PUBLISHED: WEDNESDAY, 28 OCTOBER 2020

TONY DUNKLEY’s Halcyon Daze has been seized by CaRT, writes Pam Pickett.

Four unidentified men, accompanied by enforcement officer Stuart Garner who was waving a Court Order, he claimed gave the Trust the right to evict Tony, and to take his boat.

Would be arrested

Tony Dunkley was advised that unless he left the boat willingly, he would be arrested, put in a cell overnight and his beloved rescue dog Betsy would be locked in the boat and then handed over to a Dog Warden on completion of the boats journey.

Tony’s boat was on a private mooring on the Trent, it had no working engine or power of any description.  The boat’s safety exemption scheme, as published on CaRT’s website was completed, details of Tony’s insurance were given but to no avail.

Payments refused

On no less than four occasions, I personally acting on Tony Dunkley’s behalf, attempted to make payments and each offer being refused.  Even though I referred to a Rivers Only Licence. At the last time of asking, Stuart Garner even raised the question of shore power used by Tony on his boat.

I have to ask what that has to do with the price of sliced bread!  Since when has shore power come under boat safety? Regardless, Tony at the age of 72 is just another body to be left homeless with nowhere to go, a proven method on the part of the Trust given its past history; leaving a woman in a nightdress homeless (she then lived in a tent), towing away a boat with a sick woman onboard.

Left elderly man on towpath

Even left an elderly man and his cat homeless on the towpath, all because he wanted to visit his sick mother.  The tip of the iceberg. However, if there is any satisfaction to be had here the eye watering cost to the Trust of snatching the wooden narrowboat Pearl, leaving this said man and his cat homeless, has to be it.

In order to put the record straight, in reply to speculation as the removal of Tony’s boat,  Tony was offered a BSS inspection by the Trust.  He accepted the offer, which was swiftly withdrawn by the Trust.  Tony then organised a BSS inspection himself, but unfortunately due to flooding the inspector was unable to attend.  Tony was then unwell with suspected coronavirus, he received two inclusive tests and was then asked to take a further test.

Advised to self-isolate

But unfortunately, none were available. Tony was therefore advised to self-isolate until such times that his COVID-19 symptoms had gone. The Trust therefore requested photographs of the interior of Tony’s boat and his engine, to verify whether or not it was BSS exempt. Photographs were duly supplied and refuted by the Trust that still continued to query the status of the engine.  Despite the engine being visibility in pieces, as it has been for several years.

To reiterate Tony Dunkley is 72 years old, has severe and chronic Asthma and has suffered with previously undiagnosed and now reoccurring Cellulitis, and during these frequent reoccurrences he is unable to drive or even walk.  And in addition, Tony Dunkley is suffering from kidney stones, a very painful condition.  So, could you honestly tell me that as a result of your direct actions of removing his boat, do you think that a car, with a damp and cold atmosphere and nowhere to comfortably stretch out, is a suitable environment for anybody?  Let alone for someone with so many medication problems?

Sent to wrong address

In conclusion Tony Dunkley has attempted to work within the statute book, though one has to ask whether the Trust has in actuality followed suit?  Bearing in mind that when Tony Dunkley received his first Section 8 Notice from CaRT, that notice failed to contain all information to any boater who wishes to make a defence, thus enabling the Trust to virtually rubber stamp any Section 8 claim.  In addition to this, the last paperwork sent to Tony Dunkley by the Trust, was addressed to an address at which Tony Dunkley had not resided for six years.

Time to bring back British Waterways that were accountable to higher authority and to get rid of CaRT that is only responsible to itself.  And doing a lousy job to boot.  I rest my case.

 

Tony is a nice bloke and great boater. He does push CARTS buttons though. Hope he gets sorted very soon!!

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:o A lot to unpick here. 

 

A question:  If a boat has heatiing, does it need a BSS?  If it doesn't have heating, is it a reasonable place to live or keep a pet dog?

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There's a long thread about this on the 'other darkside'.  Many posts implying that Tony allowed this to happen as part of some wider plan.

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No. This shouldn't happen to anyone. Whatever infringement of the rules, real or imagined, has led to this and whatever the back story this is callous and brutal. At the end of the day this cannot be more than some sort of argument over by laws about recreational boating, licences and payments. Has he stolen the boat? is this some sort of police matter? If not then this is an outrage.

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I'm sad to read that TD has been living on a boat which has no working engine. I thought that he was one of the last of the old-school boatmen who still did some commercial work, but apparently not.

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Sorry I have very little sympathy here. Easily avoided by just doing what the rest of us do. CaRT IMO are crap but it's their game and the courts seem to back them up. Both Tony Dunkley & Geoff Mayers did their best to constantly challenge the system and they lost. Life is too short who needs that kind of pressure.

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As a previous member of TB,I have followed Tony Dunkley's posts with great interest.He is one of the really helpful and knowledgable posters on that site.His knowledge and experience (particularly of the R.Trent) has been given freely to many people.

He has been a most vociferous critic of CRT,and some of his postings about them have bordered on being libelous.

This could have a bearing on the way he has been treated.

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It seems Tony's defence will be that his boat was not on CRT's waters.  Much the same defence which worked for him before.  Will be interesting to see how this plays out.  If he's right, then CRT will have stolen his boat unlawfully, and the police will have assisted them to do so.  All the stuff about the BSS is a red herring, a rabbit-hole which Tony drew them down to focus their attention on that.

1 minute ago, Proper Charlie said:

Out of interest, where is or was this boat? And isn't this the same guy who owns the sunken/scuttled butty on the visitor moorings above Hazleford lock?

Barton-in Fabis.  River Trent.

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I haven't been following TD's long game, but IMHO if you make a clear decision to start playing games you should always be prepared to lose.

 

 

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14 minutes ago, Hudds Lad said:

not knowing the whole backstory here, what does he win at the end?

Good question.  If he wins...He gets his boat back and the right to moor it without a licence or BSS.  In that case, the rest of us lose because CRT will end up with less funds for maintenance, when others followsuit.

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11 minutes ago, Hudds Lad said:

not knowing the whole backstory here, what does he win at the end?

I think if I have understood his arguments before he left this forum he believes that CaRT's powers only cover the main navigable channel on the Trent and arguably other rivers so if you are not navigating they have no powers over moorings, BSS, insurance etc. and can't even demand you hold a "license". Parentheses because he believes that various acts do not empower CaRT to demand a license on similar terms to the ones authorised by cats for canals. The acts concerning the Trent conveys lesser powers to CaRT and they do not refer to a license, can't remember wat they call it though.

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1 minute ago, Tony Brooks said:

I think if I have understood his arguments before he left this forum he believes that CaRT's powers only cover the main navigable channel on the Trent and arguably other rivers so if you are not navigating they have no powers over moorings, BSS, insurance etc. and can't even demand you hold a "license". Parentheses because he believes that various acts do not empower CaRT to demand a license on similar terms to the ones authorised by cats for canals. The acts concerning the Trent conveys lesser powers to CaRT and they do not refer to a license, can't remember wat they call it though.

https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/media/library/2060.pdf

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1 minute ago, doratheexplorer said:

Good question.  If he wins...He gets his boat back and the right to moor it without a licence or BSS.  In that case, the rest of us lose because CRT will end up with less funds for maintenance, when others followsuit.

Not is any significant way. Actually navigating the Trent will still require a license but not if the boat is not in the main navigable channel. This will only apply to the Trent and possibly other rivers where CaRT control the navigation.

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3 minutes ago, doratheexplorer said:

Good question.  If he wins...He gets his boat back and the right to moor it without a licence or BSS.  In that case, the rest of us lose because CRT will end up with less funds for maintenance, when others followsuit.

I'm not convinced we lose - CRT acting ultra vires is bad for us all

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Of course the report in NBW is by someone who has been working in his support so will present just his side of events (Nothing wrong in that, Pritti please note) However, I do believe that as the boat was well known as his place of abode, getting the court order will have been complex and lengthy, as it is for any landlord that tries to evict a tenant that has failed to comply with the terms of their residence permit (in whatever form) Courts try very hard to prevent people from being made homeless but without the backstop possibility then there will ultimately be chaos in the housing rental market.

 

As a society we need/want housing in greater quantity than readily available - hence the ever rising cost. Successive governments (so this comment is not party political!) have reined back on the role of the state in housing provision, unlike even in the Macmillan era when the number of new houses built by the public sector was a headline figure in the media and an influential factor in elections. Unless the regulatory framework for landlords is sufficient for them to make a justifiable profit then the sector will diminish rapidly (it is said to be doing so at the present). It is very unlikely that the non-profit sector (mainly local authorities and housing associations) will have the funds to fill the gap.

 

Of course it is arguable in a formal sense that CaRT are out to get TD, pour encourager les autres?, but I seriously doubt that would be the case with the courts and, whatever some may feel, they rarely have a seeming significant bias to the landlord. My understanding is that it is much easier for an occupier to resist a possession order than it is for the landlord to obtain one. What the cited report does not state is what happened prior to these events which will have influenced the court in reaching its decision.

 

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the case, it is sad to see someone get into this position. With TD, his practical knowledge and experience in the boating field, including commercial traffic, is all too rare. One of the attractions of the canal/river world for me is the diversity of people that inhabit it and we all, whether in a large shiny boat of just out of Whilton, have to rub along together, like them or not. In a lock we are all equal! But for that to happen some tiny soupcon of law and order is necessary. Just don't let it take control . . .

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so should we understand that, rather than doing his best to live on a shoestring because of impecunity, he is just testing the system?

 

if his personal situation is really as dire as is described by Pam in the OP then he would appear to be somewhat lacking in judgement  .....................  or is she just playing his game for journalistic effect?

Edited by Murflynn

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2 minutes ago, Murflynn said:

so should we understand that, rather than doing his best to live on a shoestring because of impecunity, he is just testing the system?

 

if his personal situation is really as dire as is described by Pam in the OP then he would appear to be somewhat lacking in judgement  .....................  or is she just playing his game for journalistic effect?

Well he doesn't appear to be living in a car, if that helps.  Look on the rest of the NBW piece with the degree of skepticism you think it deserves.

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5 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

The acts concerning the Trent conveys lesser powers to CaRT and they do not refer to a license, can't remember wat they call it though.

 

That is part of the problem, the legislation says that to use the main Navigable Channel a boat must be REGISTERED (not licenced) 

As the land -owner owns the river bed to the centre C&RT have no control over the use of the land, ONLY the water in the MNC

C&RT call the registration a 'River Only LICENCE' which Nigel Moore agreed was illegal.

 

As another issue a Registration is NOT subject to VAT, but a Licence is.

 

Maybe charging VAT on a registration is something that C&RT could be challenged on - particularly when there is an internal email acknowledging that VAT cannot be charged on a Registration.

 

An old post from Nigel Moore :

 

 

To recap then: A 'licence' is exactly what it sounds like – formal permission to do something, without which permission it would be unlawful to do so. 

 

'Registration' is a statutorily imposed identification system having nothing to do with a grant of permission to do anything.

 

Invariably, all canal enabling Acts conferred a right for the public to keep and use boats on them, but invariably also, there was a requirement for all boats to be registered, so that the companies could keep tabs on the boats for charging purposes, and for identifying the boats in the event of any breach of byelaws.

 

By contrast, on rivers, the right to keep and use boats derives from the public right of navigation, and such things as registration requirements did not apply either.

 

Note that even on rivers, charges could be made for things authorised as chargeable by statute, e.g passage through locks.

 

From the passage of the 1968 Transport Act, all conferred navigation rights were abolished. That expressly excluded navigation rights that were not conferred, even if confirmed by some statute. Following 1968 therefore, use by boats of the canals became permissive as opposed to use of the rivers where it remained as of right.

 

In 1975 the BW Act was passed adding to the byelaw making powers a power to demand and charge for licences on the non-river waterways, and accordingly the 1975 byelaws were passed making it obligatory to display licences on the canals. Sadly, BW were in such a rush they forgot that they had not passed the necessary byelaw to make licences compulsory in the first place (!) so the very next year they abolished the 1975 byelaws and passed new ones, making the licence obligatory AND requiring prominent display of same. Registration continued as it always had been, compulsory.

 

The 1971 Act had made no licensing obligatory for boats on rivers, it simply imposed a registration requirement on some of them (the number increased over the years) for a small charge, issue of which could not be refused, nor any conditions attached. Once having paid for this registration for pleasure boats, they were freed from the previous toll demands for individual lock passage.

 

Not until 1995 were any conditions applied to issue of river registrations, and the conditions were limited to the three we all know so well. Of course, if the old BW/CaRT argument over s.43 of the 1962 Act held true, none of the relevant Acts would have been needed, but the argument being nonsense, the statutes were indeed necessary before any of these conditions of use and charging could be made.

 

The old BW EoG 'Informative' was broadly accurate in setting out the details and history in abbreviated and elliptical form.

 

I suppose, from a VAT viewpoint, the charges for registration could be considered to be merely covering an administrative cost, whereas charges for licences could be considered as payment for an offered service or product. The 1983 watering down of the charge level distinction might well attenuate the difference - in perception anyway.

 

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12 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

Not is any significant way. Actually navigating the Trent will still require a license but not if the boat is not in the main navigable channel. This will only apply to the Trent and possibly other rivers where CaRT control the navigation.

As I understand it, and Nigel Moore knew as much about this as anyone, at river with a Public Right of Navigation (PRN) do not require a licence to navigate (hence the PRN) However, the navigation authorities generally have been given the right to impose a registration scheme, hence the Rivers Only 'licence' (terminology can sometimes help and sometimes confuse). But the PRN, arguably, only applies to those parts of a river that are deemed navigable and this is what TD and others have sought to explore, claiming that whilst they remain in a backwater (literally as well as metaphorically) they require neither a BSS nor Registration. Needless to say, CaRT and other navigation authorities argue differently and thus far courts have agreed with in the most part. But most of the enforcement regime has been confined to judgements in lower courts so it is more open to litigants to argue their cases. 

 

(I was typing this as the above post arrived in parallel)

Edited by Mike Todd

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I would point out that both Tony and the chap from Brentford who acted as Mackenzie friend in some cases have reported highly unethical conduct by Shoesmiths (CaRT lawyers) that seemed to be designed to frustrate a fair court hearing so I doubt we can use  examples of other landlord's interactions with the courts as typical where Shoesmiths are involved. I believe they are well know corporate lawyers who have reputation for getting results.

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