Jump to content

Reading doesn't want boaters anymore!


Featured Posts

What caught my eye is that Reading council seems to have created or changed a bye-law regarding mooring relatively quickly, and (as I understand it) has the ability to impose significant charges/fines without going through an expensive court case.

 

A land owner does not need a byelaw to charge for mooring on their land.

Edited by Alenafour
Remove extreme language.
Link to post
Share on other sites

Strewth, you don't have love going off half cocked and getting 4 miles down the road of bull before someone points out that your premise - that a land owner needs a byelaw to charge for mooring on their land - is actually crap.

 

Your post makes no sense at all.

 

It makes a particularly poor impression when compared to Alan de Enfield's and Peter X's polite, relevant, and very useful posts.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes - I definitely mean canal.

 

 

What caught my eye is that Reading council seems to have created or changed a bye-law regarding mooring relatively quickly, and (as I understand it) has the ability to impose significant charges/fines without going through an expensive court case. I've read many times on this forum that this option isn't easily available to CaRT, if it all - i.e. that it's difficult for CaRT to change the underlying legislation or the related bye-laws, and even if they did they have to use the courts to collect any fines due for infractions of the bye-laws.

 

I know the laws are different for canals and rivers, and that the canal towpaths belong to CaRT, not the Borough/Council/LB, while the river bank (and any associated rights) can belong to a Borough. This means I can't assume that an LB can do the same thing regarding towpath mooring on a canal. It doesn't mean it's impossible though, hence my question.

 

FWIW I'm expecting the final answer to be "no".

Just to be clear, this mooring situation at Tesco's in Reading is not on a CRT canal, it is on the River Thames. The situation WRT mooring is completely different to on a CRT canal towpath. If the council are the owner of the river bank, then they are entitled to charge for mooring on it, as many other land owners (including councils) on the Thames do. The council could not do the same thing on a canal towpath.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Strewth, you don't half love going off half cocked and getting 4 miles down the road of bull before someone points out that your premise - that a land owner needs a byelaw to charge for mooring on their land - is actually crap.

 

I understand the sentiment, but plain English?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to be clear, this mooring situation at Tesco's in Reading is not on a CRT canal, it is on the River Thames. The situation WRT mooring is completely different to on a CRT canal towpath. If the council are the owner of the river bank, then they are entitled to charge for mooring on it, as many other land owners (including councils) on the Thames do. The council could not do the same thing on a canal towpath.

I sometimes wonder if CRT may at some stage opt to hand over control (or ownership?) Of the canal bank to the local councils whose land the canal is cut through.

 

Its only speculation and may well not be an option but this could potentially be a way to "sort out" "problem mooring" in certain parts of the canal system.

It seems to make more sense for me for the canal bank and tow path to be managed by local authorities rather than the navigation authority. Obviously lock landings would be maintained by the navigation authority but moorings don't really -need- to be as all boating taking place now is basically a leisure pursuit or a housing option its not business (yes there are exceptions) so mooring should perhaps be a luxury rather than a right? Obviously local councils will want visitors but they may not want long term occupiers..

 

 

Tin hat on ;)

Edited by magnetman
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I can't help your inability to understand plain English. Try reading it again.

 

Your post made no sense. The problem isn't what it says (though you do have a problem with clarity), but that it's irrelevant nonsense.

 

First, read this:

http://www.richmond.gov.uk/unauthorised_mooring_will_be_outlawed_from_borough

They needed a bye-law to achieve their objective.

 

Second, consider my question:

Paraphrased: can a council use a bye-law to influence mooring on a canal towpath - i.e. in places normally managed by CaRT, not the council?

 

If they could, it would, AFAIK, be an interesting change to the status quo. If they had to get a bye-law, but could do so significantly faster or more easily than CaRT it would be an interesting possibility. If they became able to impose charges or fines more efficiently than CaRT it would be an interesting change.

 

I'm not suggesting any of these would be good things (or bad for that matter). They're interesting possibilities regardless.

 

It's certainly been instructive (though boring otherwise) "meeting" you, but I promised not to hijack the thread, so I won't reply to you again in this thread.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I sometimes wonder if CRT may at some stage opt to hand over control (or ownership?) Of the canal bank to the local councils whose land the canal is cut through.

 

Tin hat on wink.png

 

Aside from whether it would be "a solution" to whatever "problem" CRT believes towpath mooring to be, is it even in CRT' gift to simply give away the ownership of the towpath to someone else.

 

It would take an Act of Parliament, surely?

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Aside from whether it would be "a solution" to whatever "problem" CRT believes towpath mooring to be, is it even in CRT' gift to simply give away the ownership of the towpath to someone else.

 

It would take an Act of Parliament, surely?

 

It already has been allowed in an act of Parliament :

 

To further its objects the Trust may:

 

3.13 dispose of or deal with all or any of its property with or without payment and subject to such conditions as the Trustees think fit (in exercising this power the Trust must comply as appropriate with the charities Act 2011);

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hounslow is another of those following Richmond’s lead. They have tried all sorts of bluff over the years, with only partial success, but now that plans are afoot for replacing the old gasworks riverworks with a fancy “marina”, they need the specific byelaw powers to remove the resident boats.

 

Richmond's byelaws DO allow you to get their consent to moor for longer than the stated restrictions, such consent being subject to their conditions [which doubtless will include commensurate charges]. Mooring per se is not criminalised under their byelaws, only mooring for longer than permitted.

 

Have just found out in a Press Release this afternoon that Hounslow are not waiting around for new byelaws to be approved. Despite decades of experience, the Borough leaders are STILL completely muddled over the legalities, talking of "unlicensed boats" as though such things existed on the tidal Thames for private non-commercial craft.

 

 

PR 3196

19 October 2015

For Immediate Release

Unlawfully moored boats to be moved on from Brentford

 

 

 

(starts)

 

Legal letters have been issued today to encourage a formal dialogue between Hounslow Council and the owners of unlawfully moored boats in Brentford in an area which is earmarked for a new marina.

 

The current moorings are unlawful with boat-owners paying no licence fees, which is unfair on both the nearby lawful boaters and the general public.

 

There are also concerns that some of the boats may be disposing sewage directly into the river.

In addition, many boats are not fit for purpose. Some of the owners do not live on board but let them to others; there are anxieties that the boats are sub-standard as rental properties.

 

The proposed development of Watermans Park Marina will create jobs for local people and help revitalise the area. A new marina is a key part of Hounslow Council’s vision for the regeneration of Brentford. In order to develop the design of the marina, surveys of the riverbed are necessary and to do this all the boats must vacate the area.

 

Some of the owners and occupiers of the unlawfully moored boats have said that they need time to get their boats river-worthy before being able to leave the site. The council will work with them to make this process as smooth as possible and have issued the letters in an effort to encourage dialogue.

 

Each boat-owner is invited to make representation to determine how much time is needed to vacate the area.

 

Hounslow Council has pledged to support those people living on the boats who need advice on alternative accommodation. The council's Housing Services team is aware of the situation and people are being signposted to them in the letter.

 

Councillor Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council, said: “Let’s be clear from the outset, these boats are moored unlawfully. Some of the people living on the boats are littering, getting rid of their waste directly into the river and are trespassing to get access to their boats, which is unfair on owners who pay their mooring fees and the general public.

 

“We’re offering our full support to everyone living on the boats and will advise on issues such as housing to those who may need it.

 

“Too many times in the past, Hounslow Council administrations have failed to tackle this problem and take forward plans to create a clean, safe, accessible marina. Now we have an exciting opportunity to regenerate the area and it’s high time the issue of unlawful moorings is resolved.

 

"There is support for this action from other river users. We’re doing the right thing."

 

Can a Borough/Local Body use bye-laws to influence mooring on a canal towpath?

 

NB: the question is intended to be limited to mooring, and to exclude "indirect" regulations that might affect boats, such as noise, air pollution, etc.

 

No.

 

The question was settled some years ago in the BW fight on the Kennett and Avon respecting the 'Ladies Bridge' moorings, which the Council had tried to get rid of. The case went to a PINS Appeal, and the Inspector found against the Council, noting that no Council permission was required for mooring to the banks of canals.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Is the towpath is merely "property", like buildings and other land?

Yes

Unless it has been designated as as public right of way (and some parts have) I don't actually believe there is a right of transit along them.

No doubt one of the legal bods will know for sure

Link to post
Share on other sites

Another one for M'lud Moore -

Apart from the rights and duties of mooring to the bank or a structure fixed to that bank,

what is the position regarding anchoring away from the bank?

The Thames bylaws say you may anchor (subject to rules of obstruction etc) - implying - to the uninitiated that riparian rights extending to the mid point of the river are overridden? Or is it that the bylaw for navigation purposes only?

 

I recall reading somewhere - authoritative or not - that the special conditions on the Thames meant that the general riparian rule of halfway across was not valid?

 

The Thames gets complicated with sometimes disputed ownership claims.

 

Ordinarily, the standard riparian principle of ownership to the centre of the river applies [see e.g. the non-disputed facts recited in Rowland v Environment Agency, 2002].

 

Below Staines the presumption holds that the bed belongs to the Crown, with the PLA having ostensibly purchased the Crown interests below Teddington [for £500,000].

 

The Thames Conservancy Acts specifically permit mooring/anchoring for “reasonable” periods, as regardless of bed ownership, the public right of navigation extends over the whole of the navigable Thames and tributaries.

Link to post
Share on other sites

What caught my eye is that Reading council seems to have created or changed a bye-law regarding mooring relatively quickly, and (as I understand it) has the ability to impose significant charges/fines without going through an expensive court case.

 

"Relatively quickly" in this instance was, if I recall correctly, something like two years. That had to include publishing the proposed draft, public consultation and response/objection periods, and Secretary of State approval.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nigel, aren't you confusing Reading with Richmond here? The former has no mooring byelaws, the latter has indeed created byelaws and had them approved by the Secretary of State.

 

Yes, sorry - I glossed over Gordias' post's text, missing that he had written Reading instead of Richmond. I think I have responded to what he intended however.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

. . . your premise - that a land owner needs a byelaw to charge for mooring on their land - is actually crap.

 

That only applies to natural persons, not to creatures of statute such as the Councils.

 

I should note that the arguments presented by Kingston in the recent litigation - as to the London Boroughs having been granted the powers to act as natural persons by virtue of the Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1972 – would have to fail in light of the later case of Regina -v- Richmond Upon Thames London Borough Council, ex parte McCarthy & Stone (Developments) Ltd; HL 14 Nov 1991.

 

If the GLC Act applied as Kingston argued, then the House of Lords judgment nearly 20 years after that Act could never have made the findings it did.

Link to post
Share on other sites

cFbgQfb.jpg

 

Ely (East Cambs District Council) have recently moved to this model, making it a civil offence to overstay, rather than a criminal one.

I think this is probably a bit of wishful thinking on the part of ECDC hoping that it will frighten people off. The problem with making it a Civil Offence rather than Criminal is enforcement. Unlike in a private car park where contractors will wheel clamp your car, how are ECDC going to enforce it? Trying to disable someone's boat would be risky in the extreme since they could face a counter claim for many times their £100 charge. Being a Civil Offence they have no power to physically detain you or ask for your personal details so if you return to your boat, quietly screw up the penalty notice (and put it in a binrolleyes.gif ) they will then have to apply to CRT to find out who owns the boat. The wording of the notice states that "....you, the person or persons in control of the boat agree to these contractual terms....",it doesn't say 'Owner'.Even if the bailiff that they would have to employ to track you down to recover their civil charge could find you all you as an owner need say is that you were not the person in charge of the boat at the relevant time and you are not going to tell them who was. Where do they go from there?

 

Under the Richmond by-law you can't argue with it since if you don't tell them who you are they can have you arrested.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

It already has been allowed in an act of Parliament :

 

To further its objects the Trust may:

 

3.13 dispose of or deal with all or any of its property with or without payment and subject to such conditions as the Trustees think fit (in exercising this power the Trust must comply as appropriate with the charities Act 2011);

 

 

I have to correct you here Alan.

 

What you have quoted from is NOT an Act of Parliament, it is the “Articles of Association” of Canal & River Trust Ltd as “adopted by Special Resolution passed on 27.03.2013”. This is a purely private agreement by the trustees PRIOR to the passage of the relevant Act of Parliament, and of absolutely NO force in respect of overturning the provisions of ANY previous or subsequent Parliamentary Act.

 

The only relevant Act of Parliament is The British Waterways (Transfer of Functions) Act 2012, which was not passed until some 3 months later than these self-serving unilateral Articles. The essential property portfolio of BW was, under the Act, placed in a separate Trust to be administered by CaRT and NOT disposable at their whim, as provided for in the government's "Trust Settlement" as trustor.

 

It is important, in gaining an understanding of the powers to control the property, to read through the Government’s “Explanatory Document” to the 2012 Order.

 

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2012/1659/pdfs/uksiem_20121659_en.pdf

 

Section 7.7 provides:

 

The property and assets being transferred to CRT include not just the infrastructure of the waterways, but also a substantial portfolio of investment property which originated from the development of surplus operational land but which has been substantially grown by British Waterways by the re-investment of capital development returns over recent decades. This commercial property portfolio, worth around £460m and used by British Waterways to fund repair, maintenance and operation of the network infrastructure, will be transferred to CRT for the same purposes, along with the rest of the network.” [my emphasis]

 

So there is a clear differentiation between “investment property” and what previous legislation referred to as “the Track” [the “infrastructure of the waterways”].

 

Section 7.9 provides:

 

A very important role of CRT will be to safeguard the infrastructure of the waterways in perpetuity for the nation. We want the canals, towpaths, locks and other parts of the waterways to be looked after for the benefit of future generations. The document which will ensure this is the Trust Settlement. A draft of this document is at Annex I. The Trust Settlement places the waterways infrastructure in a Trust (called the ‘Waterways Infrastructure Trust’), which the Secretary of State will settle on CRT as first trustee. The Trust Settlement ensures that all of the waterways infrastructure (as defined in the Trust) is held as permanent functional endowment. This means that the CRT will not be able to sell any part of the waterways infrastructure without gaining the Secretary of State’s and in some cases the Charity Commission’s prior consent. Before granting such consent, the Secretary of State will hold a public consultation; for land held in Wales, the Secretary of State will also consult the Welsh Ministers before reaching a decision. The Trust Settlement also requires the CRT to grant free pedestrian access to the towpath (except in certain very tightly defined circumstances and again with the prior consent of the Secretary of State, following public consultation and, in the case of towpath in Wales, after consulting the Welsh Ministers).” [my emphasis]

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this is probably a bit of wishful thinking on the part of ECDC hoping that it will frighten people off.

 

Indeed.

 

They cannot unilaterally impose any implied agreement to their "civil contract". "Burnett v BWB" and other such case law would apply.

 

Just to clarify - ECDC would not be applying to CaRT for boat owner details in any event; the Ouse is EA controlled.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Indeed.

 

They cannot unilaterally impose any implied agreement to their "civil contract". "Burnett v BWB" and other such case law would apply.

 

Just to clarify - ECDC would not be applying to CaRT for boat owner details in any event; the Ouse is EA controlled.

If the boat were registered on a CRT licence (Gold Licence) what would stop them applying to CRT for boat owner details? Doesn't necessarily mean that CRT would give it to them but if you were trying to find out the owner of a boat to pursue a civil claim I can't see why they cannot apply.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.