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sueb

Another eviction

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Sleep tight folks, I'm waiting to hear a bit more too but I'm most unhappy that somebody is to be evicted for complaining about the cost of moorings.

That doesn't sound very likely, does it?

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The following year there was a government consultation on the subject, which I have in pdf, but for an online link I can find this article as a potential gate to the document. The consultation responses should all be published also -

 

http://www.lgcplus.com/new-proposals-to-help-residential-boat-owners/518736.article

 

The topic was raised yet again in the 'consultation' over the Public Bodies Bill, and in the "Red Tape Challenge" leading up to the Transfer Order.

http://www.redtapechallenge.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/water-marine-inland-waterways/

Hi Nigel, glad to have you in the discussion.

I foresee a problem in that when this was written "Houseboat" meant a floating home without an engine (this was a VAT definition I think?)

 

Andy

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I foresee a problem in that when this was written "Houseboat" meant a floating home without an engine (this was a VAT definition I think?)

 

Andy, definitions of 'houseboat' have got in the way of many debates, although at least the 'Red-Tape Challenge' and others used an inclusive meaning to embrace mobile boats that were lived on. The 2005 consultation began: "Throughout the consultation the term “residential boat” is used. It covers both boats which are navigated and those which are permanently moored without a means of propulsion such as houseboats." More details at -

 

http://www.ancientmoorings.org.uk/odpm.mhtml

 

I cannot find any of my material from then, nor can I find anything on the gov. website, but others more internet capable should be able to. It would be worthwhile for those involved, as there were consultation responses from a very broad group of individuals and organisations [including BW].

 

The VAT definition requires that the vessel be neither self-propelled nor readily adapted to be so. For many years now, since they lost a court case with John Everitt of London Tideway Co. they have also accept self-propelled ex-commercial boats of a minimum tonnage [calculated by their formula] and certified as being the occupier's sole residence. I occasionally do Certificates of Tonnage for VAT purposes only, alongside which the owner needs to sign a declaration that the vessel is neither designed nor adapted for recreation or pleasure.

 

In a sense, this is getting closer to the BW set of bizarre definitions, although nothing could quite match those - by the 1971 Act a houseboat can be any flotsam or jetsum accumulated on a bank, and does not even need to be, or ever have been intended to be, lived in! It just, like the VAT definition, needs to be not a pleasure boat.

 

There was some good stuff from Vince Cable back in 1997, when the PLA sought increases in River Works Licences up to 3,000% in some instances. Glenda Jackson didn't understand the difference between those and non-existent 'Houseboat Licences' due to a new legal spin the PLA were attempting at the time [they sought to define all houseboats as 'river works'; a ridiculous concept now legally discredited but still effectively imposed using cleverer vocabulary.]

 

http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1997/nov/24/residential-boat-owners-london

 

As for the 2005 security of tenure for residential boats consultation, the topic was discussed on this forum in about two headings I think, in 2006. Might be worth searching for.

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There may be just a little more to this than appears at first sight.

 

Apparently the boat owner has been running a boat brokerage business from his boat (ie a commercial enterprise) and is therefore in breach of his licence.

 

He is not denying it and has had meetings with Derek Newton (BWML) - his argument is that he is self employed and works from home, his boat is his home. All dealings are done via the internet and do not directly involve the use if the boat.

 

Its amazing what can lie behind the 'Headlines' of story.

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There may be just a little more to this than appears at first sight.

 

Apparently the boat owner has been running a boat brokerage business from his boat (ie a commercial enterprise) and is therefore in breach of his licence.

 

He is not denying it and has had meetings with Derek Newton (BWML) - his argument is that he is self employed and works from home, his boat is his home. All dealings are done via the internet and do not directly involve the use if the boat.

 

Its amazing what can lie behind the 'Headlines' of story.

I think you've muddied the waters unnecessarily there Alan.

I have a laptop and a mobile phone, if I send or receive messages/emails or make calls whilst on board in connection with my business ( carpentry ), does that mean I'm breaching my mooring agreement? Would I have to leave the boat each time my phone rings or cast off and move the boat when I need to send a few quotes out?

 

Keith

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I think you've muddied the waters unnecessarily there Alan.

I have a laptop and a mobile phone, if I send or receive messages/emails or make calls whilst on board in connection with my business ( carpentry ), does that mean I'm breaching my mooring agreement? Would I have to leave the boat each time my phone rings or cast off and move the boat when I need to send a few quotes out?

 

Keith

 

Possibly, if the carpentry was fitting out canal boats and these regularly came and went from the marina you were moored at. Its one thing running a canal-related business and using the facilities of the marina, and another to send a few items of business correspondence, or make/receive phone calls, or do general desk-based office work there.

 

An analogy might be doing admin/office work from a bricks & mortar home, vs secondhand car dealing, with about 6 cars jammed on the drive and in the back garden

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I think you've muddied the waters unnecessarily there Alan.

I have a laptop and a mobile phone, if I send or receive messages/emails or make calls whilst on board in connection with my business ( carpentry ), does that mean I'm breaching my mooring agreement? Would I have to leave the boat each time my phone rings or cast off and move the boat when I need to send a few quotes out?

 

Keith

 

The BWML T&Cs clearly state that without BWMLs permission you cannot operate a business from the Marina - operating an Internet based business (on a boat that apparently does not move) is in contravention of the T&C's and subject to being asked to leave.

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Hello all. I have been following this thread with interest and would like to give you some background info on the Ombudsman decision mentioned toward the beginning.

We are a family with one child at a local school and a small business in a nearby town.

BWML took over from BW in 2004, for 2 years they were offering "liveaboard" status at Ripon Marina for an extra fee, on top of the moorings price. This was then renamed to a "grade 1" extra charge, so as to be legally correct, yet still giving the same entitlements.

We took a grade 1 mooring in 2008.We paid a widebeam charge of nearly £80.

As stated in the decision letter a mis-mailed letter from BWML did not reach us(even though BWML had given us the post box) so when the 2009 contract arrived in our postbox the introduction of a 30% fee for widebeams was a shock.

After going through the internal complaints procedure and then to BW complaints department, we took our complaint to the Ombudsman.

All this took a year to complete. We were advised at the start by CAB not to pay the extra charge and keep up with the normal payments, as paying up would look like we agreed with the new contract.

Little did we know that this would be a black mark against our name to be enforced if we stepped out of line again in the future.

With the help of the ombudsmen we were able to set up a payment scheme with BWML to get us out of the backlog of debt from a year of arguing our position. We are not rich and an extra 30% on top of the yearly increase adds up after a couple of years.

 

There is no other marina in the locality and the nearest we could go to continue living afloat would have been an hour's journey to work. Nowhere to go and not a leg to stand on.

BWML knew this was the case with all of the residents and so started proceedings to impose the new "residential" status and looked to the council for planning consent in 2012. This also brought a new price increase with it.

We and many others disagreed that the increase would be fair. No money seemed to be spent at our marina, sloppy maintenance and a million pound expansion at Sawley(one they actually own) really got our backs up.

If we were not legally allowed to live aboard our boats, why were we paying a premium to do so?

 

Along with many boaters at Ripon we objected to the planning application, if only to seek to slow the process down and get our voices heard. We all knew that legally living aboard was a great thing but to see yet another price hike for the sake of paying council tax was not what we wanted to hear.

Suffice to say Darren Bramhall didn't like this and seemed to wage war on all who went against the smooth flow of increased profits. Now half the marina is empty and from retirees to families, all have been removed from site.

 

There was no way we or many others could afford the proposed increases. What was to next year to bring? The mooring fees had nearly doubled in 5 years and could do the same again in the next 5.

BWML ruined a dream and nearly a family with the financial stress and a future of uncertainty. People are still being evicted from Ripon today. But it's what happens next that worries: new people have a dream, they take a mooring, unaware of the war that broke out in 2013. They settle in to thier new lives and then the new contract drops in thier post box with a thud! Next year will be different.

 

The marina operators in the UK have free will to do as they please. They are bound by no laws or regulators, except the ones they make themselves, and they are at liberty to change those each year.

BWML set prices and privately owned marinas follow shortly behind them. Gone are the days of free roam and light industrial use. Tatty are the towpaths and full of rubbish are the waterways.

Volunteers cleaned up the waterways for many to enjoy, lack of commitment from BW has seen CaRT to be born and the waterways are back in the hands of volunteers.

 

We miss the lifestyle choice we chose and also the many friends we made in the 7 years we were afloat.

We now have a house, rented for the same price as mooring "our" boat. That cannot be right, can it?

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Although generally sympathetic, I would point out that an awful lot of us have at least an hour's journey to work every day, some of us quite a lot more (my bass player commutes from Stoke to London every day). Why? Because we like to live where we want to - that, after all, is the point of working in the first place. You also say that you couldn't afford the fees, but your house is rented for the same amount as mooring the boat. You may, of course, also find that your current landlord can raise the rent more or less as he wants to, as well. The thing about boats is that you CAN move them. It's harder with a house although renting of course gives you that option. It all coms down to choice.

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Why?

 

My thoughts too.

 

I see no reason for presuming an automatic right to live on your boat at all, let alone in a marina and at lower cost than in a house.

 

Nor do I see why everything is expected to be 'fair' these days. Well actually, on reflection i can. Tony Blair was always banging on about making things fair and raised people's expectations to unrealistic levels. It's all his fault!

 

 

MtB

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Why?

Indeed. I work away in the South and gave serious consideration to bringing one of the boats down to live on mid-week.

 

Keen to have a mooring with parking etc. rather than bridge hop (which of course I could because I have a home mooring) I enquired with local marinas as to the cost of a berth which I could stay on for 3-4 nights p/w and park a car.

 

The cost was considerably more than a hotel serving breakfast!

 

Did I complain to the European Court of Human Rights? Of course not, it's just market pricing in the same way we couldn't charge as much for a hire boat holiday up north as the midlands can.

 

Why do people think they have a right to exist more cheaply on the canals - the working boatmen had to pay their way when the canals first opened - why should it be any different now??

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Possibly, if the carpentry was fitting out canal boats and these regularly came and went from the marina you were moored at. Its one thing running a canal-related business and using the facilities of the marina, and another to send a few items of business correspondence, or make/receive phone calls, or do general desk-based office work there.

 

An analogy might be doing admin/office work from a bricks & mortar home, vs secondhand car dealing, with about 6 cars jammed on the drive and in the back garden

 

As the subject of this thread was running a boat brokerage business from his boat (based in a BWML marina) in direct competition to BWML a better analogy may be a 2nd hand car dealer renting space on his local Ford dealer's showground.

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I don't know how on earth you can all be so happy about a provider exploiting their position and hiking up prices as they see fit.

 

Maybe because it happens to someone else but one day it may happen to you. Will you be so happy about it then ?

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I don't know how on earth you can all be so happy about a provider exploiting their position and hiking up prices as they see fit.

 

Maybe because it happens to someone else but one day it may happen to you. Will you be so happy about it then ?

 

The trouble is, it's a consequence of living in a country operating a free market economy. Do you prefer the alternative? Each system has major disadvantages that go with the territory but personally, I prefer the system we operate here.

 

I don't think people are saying they are happy with the situation in the OP, rather we are saying that it was wholly foreseeable given the rules our society operates under, and the OP is consequently at least partly responsible for the situation they find themselves in. It's time people took some personal responsibility to go with the amazing freedom we all have here in the free western world.

 

Rant over.

 

mtB

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More people than you give them credit for take responsibility for their lives and their actions.

 

An unfettered market economy works best for the wealthy, a better regulated market economy could work better for the less well off.

Selection by buying power alone is a blunt instrument .

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More people than you give them credit for take responsibility for their lives and their actions.

 

An unfettered market economy works best for the wealthy, a better regulated market economy could work better for the less well off.

Selection by buying power alone is a blunt instrument .

 

Can you nominate a market economy that gets regulation about right, in your opinion?

 

In my opinion, in case you were thinking of asking, much more regulation than we have here now will result in companies like BWML deciding to sell up and get out of the game entirely, resulting in ALL the moorers being evicted. One needs to be careful what one wishes for.

 

 

MtB

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We now have a house, rented for the same price as mooring "our" boat. That cannot be right, can it?

 

Why can't it be right?

 

And whoopee, an hours commiute to work!! I know people who do lots more than that. Even I choose to do it.

 

Get over yourself!!

Edited by Graham Davis

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The trouble is, it's a consequence of living in a country operating a free market economy. Do you prefer the alternative?

A system that strives for equality and cares about every citizen, treating them like a human being rather than a commodity?

 

Yes please!

 

The neo-liberal free market economy has failed...time to move over and go back to the successful Keynesian model.

  • Greenie 3

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Are the people defending minimal regulation on marina owners the same people who demand more regulation for continuous cruisers? Are the people who indignantly insist that "why should you expect things to be fair!" the same people who bleat that it's not fair" when they see a live-aboard on a visitor mooring?

Just asking.

  • Greenie 1

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1)If I own a house - I have to accept the rules - cannot just build an extension, cannot put up 10' high fences etc etc. If I dont, 'action' is taken

 

2)If I rent a house I have to agree to the Landlord's T&C;s, if I dont agree I dont sign, I go somewhere else, If I say I agree and then break the agreement I would expect action' to be taken.

 

3)If I take a 'Farmers Offside' mooring I expect to abide by the Farmers T&C's, If I dont then I expect 'action' to be taken.

 

4) If I moor in a Marina I expect to abide by the T&C;s - if I dont then I expect 'action' to be taken.

 

5) When I licence my boat I agree to either have a home mooring, or CC - if I dont do either then I expect 'action' to be taken.

 

You may argue that when the T&C's change - you have not 'signed up' to those amended T&C's - however when a years 'grace' has been given surely within that time you have the option to either accept them or move elsewhere.

 

You can complain about T&C's being modified but when you are failing to comply with unchanged T&C's you don have an argument.

 

As Human nature will inevitably lead to each person doing 'what is best' for themselves we do need some rules for society - otherwise we would have anarchy.

 

Before signing up for anything - read the rules, if you cannot comply dont sign them.

Simples

Edited by Alan de Enfield

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Are the people defending minimal regulation on marina owners the same people who demand more regulation for continuous cruisers?

Very often

 

Are the people who indignantly insist that "why should you expect things to be fair!" the same people who bleat that it's not fair" when they see a live-aboard on a visitor mooring?

Sometimes.

 

(Just my opinion based on observation, of course.)

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Are the people defending minimal regulation on marina owners the same people who demand more regulation for continuous cruisers? Are the people who indignantly insist that "why should you expect things to be fair!" the same people who bleat that it's not fair" when they see a live-aboard on a visitor mooring?

Just asking.

 

Your first is a perfectly good question to which the answer is 'usually no'. Buit hang on, I'm not sure I've ever seen a post on here demanding more regulation of continuous cruisers. I've certainly never written one AFAICR.

 

As Alan points out, the posts you perceive as demanding more regulation are usually just asking for the existing rules to be observed.

 

If you are referring to me in particular could you cite a post where I've 'bleated it's not fair' about ANYTHING, EVER please?

 

Thanks.

 

 

MtB

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Your first is a perfectly good question to which the answer is 'usually no'. Buit hang on, I'm not sure I've ever seen a post on here demanding more regulation of continuous cruisers. I've certainly never written one AFAICR.

 

As Alan points out, the posts you perceive as demanding more regulation are usually just asking for the existing rules to be observed.

 

If you are referring to me in particular could you cite a post where I've 'bleated it's not fair' about ANYTHING, EVER please?

 

Thanks.

 

 

MtB

Really!!? You've never seen the demands for a supplimentary licence fee for CC'ing. The insistance that a CC'er should not reverse the direction of their journey, the calls for CC'ers to be prohibited from using visitor moorings, the suggestion that CC'ers should have to have GPS trackers, or any of the other rabid nonsense....astonishing!

My post was not directed at anyone in particular, it was prompted by a general feeling that there is a lack of empathy by some and a feeling of intolerance towards those getting the shitty end of the stick, while those same commentators often point out the injustice of other things that effect them personally.

Why would you assume that it was aimed at you personally? Remember Mike assumption is the mother of all cock ups.

Edited by gary955
  • Greenie 2

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If you have a look at BWML's mooring grades you will see that there is (are)

 

Residential

Grade 1

Grade 2

Grade 3

 

And the definitions of what you can and cannot do on each grade are fairly clear.

There is also considerable difference in costs between the grades.

 

Scroll down to 'mooring definitions'

 

http://www.bwml.co.uk/customer-info

Many thanks Alan,

 

was going to ask for definition of the 'grades' of moorings...now I know where to look!

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