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The lamest excuse so far ?


Tony Dunkley
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The Waterways Odbumsman has just published his Annual Report for the year 2015 - 2016 containing what appears to be the lamest and most ridiculous excuse yet offered up for C&RT's inability to function as a competent and responsible navigation authority :~

 

Case No 823 – the marking of shallows on the River Severn

Mr D has a boat which he moors at a marina on the River Severn. In July 2013 his boat hit an underwater obstruction near Worcester, which damaged it. He said that other people’s boats had hit the same obstruction and that in some cases the cost of repairing the damage had been substantial. Mr D felt that the Trust had been slow in dealing with and marking the obstruction.

It seems to have taken some time for the Trust to have accepted the existence of the hazard. Part of the problem is that apart from a single instance in March 2012, its incidents log had no record of any incidents at that location between 2004 and the grounding of Mr D’s boat in July 2013. Minimum Open Channel (MOC) box charts provided by the Trust, depicting the river depth and the boundaries of the navigable channel, showed that at some points on the bend in the river where the hazard was located, the MOC box was entirely outside the centre line of the river, which would generally be regarded as the safest course navigate, and that on the outside of the bend there are shallows. While this may not pose a major problem for flat-bottomed boats such as barges or narrowboats, Mr D’s boat had a V‑shaped keel and therefore a deeper maximum draught. Even after the Trust seemed to accept the existence of the hazard, Mr D felt that it was too slow in taking action to mark the hazard.

The Trust accepted that information about the hazard might not have been uploaded to its incidents database, and that there was scope for improvement in its record-keeping system. It said that this would be raised at a senior level within the Trust.

It also explained to me that once it became clear that there was a hazard, the marking of it necessitated the obtaining of planning permission from two local authorities and consent from the Environment Agency. Although Mr D at one point noted that there had been progress, his view was that a whole year had elapsed with little or no progress. I concluded that the evidence provided by Mr D, about incidents having been reported to the Trust, was persuasive. I also concluded that the Trust had been slow to act.

I recommended that:

  1. that the Trust provide Mr D with an explanation of what actions it had taken, or was proposing to take, to address any deficiencies in the incident logging and reporting system, both locally and across the Trust;
  2. that the Trust provide Mr D with an update on progress about marking the hazard, and navigation guide, with its best estimate for completion; and
  3. that the Trust confirm that it accepted the existence of the hazard and the lack of any navigation guide.

I decided that the Trust should also provide an update to other licence holders in the area.

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The Waterways Odbumsman has just published his Annual Report for the year 2015 - 2016 containing what appears to be the lamest and most ridiculous excuse yet offered up for C&RT's inability to function as a competent and responsible navigation authority :~

 

It seems to have taken some time for the Trust to have accepted the existence of the hazard. Part of the problem is that apart from a single instance in March 2012, its incidents log had no record of any incidents at that location between 2004 and the grounding of Mr D’s boat in July 2013. Minimum Open Channel (MOC) box charts provided by the Trust, depicting the river depth and the boundaries of the navigable channel, showed that at some points on the bend in the river where the hazard was located, .....................

 

Might be worth asking C&RT for the 'MOC Box Chart' for the Trent !!!!!

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Might be worth asking C&RT for the 'MOC Box Chart' for the Trent !!!!!

 

Got it already, Alan.

It specifies the minimum dredged navigable channel dimensions on the Upper Trent, what they call the 'Minimum Open Channel' as 7.0 metres wide by 1.3 metres deep, at which point they consider that dredging has become necessary, . . . subject, presumably, to Planning Permission !

Edited by Tony Dunkley
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The Waterways Odbumsman has just published his Annual Report for the year 2015 - 2016 containing what appears to be the lamest and most ridiculous excuse yet offered up for C&RT's inability to function as a competent and responsible navigation authority :~

 

Case No 823 – the marking of shallows on the River Severn

........ It also explained to me that once it became clear that there was a hazard, the marking of it necessitated the obtaining of planning permission from two local authorities and consent from the Environment Agency. Although Mr D at one point noted that there had been progress, his view was that a whole year had elapsed with little or no progress. I concluded that the evidence provided by Mr D, about incidents having been reported to the Trust, was persuasive. I also concluded that the Trust had been slow to act.

I recommended that:

  1. that the Trust provide Mr D with an explanation of what actions it had taken, or was proposing to take, to address any deficiencies in the incident logging and reporting system, both locally and across the Trust;
  2. that the Trust provide Mr D with an update on progress about marking the hazard, and navigation guide, with its best estimate for completion; and
  3. that the Trust confirm that it accepted the existence of the hazard and the lack of any navigation guide.

I decided that the Trust should also provide an update to other licence holders in the area.

 

If the hazard is serious enough to damage a craft it is presumably more than just silt. I would have thought that any owner whose craft did suffer damage would have a fairly clear cut case against CRT. I'm surprised that the Ombudsman makes no note of that, but perhaps that was not part of Mr D's complaint.

 

tam

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Got it already, Alan.

It specifies the minimum dredged navigable channel dimensions on the Upper Trent, what they call the 'Minimum Open Channel' as 7.0 metres wide by 1.3 metres deep, at which point they consider that dredging has become necessary, . . . subject, presumably, to Planning Permission !

 

Presumably then your court case will not proceed any further.

You moor outside of the Main Channel (which C&RT have kindly defined for you) you therefore have no need for a 'licence'.

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Presumably then your court case will not proceed any further.

You moor outside of the Main Channel (which C&RT have kindly defined for you) you therefore have no need for a 'licence'.

 

You have already forgotten your formula for statutory construction?!

 

When faced with an identical term defining areas of differing obligations and powers, that interpretation holds for each which provides least expense/greatest income.

 

Plus, you should remember that CaRT are arguing that the geographic limitations as defined in the 1971 Act were abolished in 1983 anyway, so that these charts are immaterial to Tony’s case.

 

[Furthermore, in the yet further alternative argument, none of the pleasure boat legislation in the Act of 1971 applies to houseboats. As we all must accept: all non-CC'ing boats are houseboats and subject to s.13 seizure and destruction.]

Edited by NigelMoore
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The Waterways Odbumsman has just published his Annual Report for the year 2015 - 2016

 

Definitely Brain of Britain material this ombudsman. I had a look at the houseboat assignment case [which was at least helpful for the complainant selling the boat, if not for the purchaser], and his Solomonic grasp of the relevant legislative background is breath-taking.

 

I decided that whether it would be assignable should be determined by the Trust’s own rules and policies. There are certain conditions under which a houseboat certificate would not be assignable . . .”

 

the 1971 Act provides only for a houseboat certificate to be transferred for the unexpired portion of the current certificate. My view was that there was no basis on which I could decide that an assigned certificate should be renewable indefinitely.”

 

If any excuse existed for this gentleman’s profound and willing ignorance, none does for Ms Lewis, to whom he will have turned for approval.

 

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How do you like this?

 

Shoosmiths have just sent me a letter threatening S28 enforcement for not continually cruising and not having a current license (waiting on a BSS, now have it will license on monday) for a boat that I do not live on and am currently storing in a Marina...

 

So yeh... they really do not think.

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How do you like this?

 

Shoosmiths have just sent me a letter threatening S28 enforcement for not continually cruising and not having a current license (waiting on a BSS, now have it will license on monday) for a boat that I do not live on and am currently storing in a Marina...

 

So yeh... they really do not think.

 

 

Since when did not living on it and keeping it in a marina* excuse you from needing a licence?

 

 

 

*Unless one of the few not subject to a NAA. Which marina is it?

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Since when did not living on it and keeping it in a marina* excuse you from needing a licence?

 

 

 

*Unless one of the few not subject to a NAA. Which marina is it?

 

If the boat is in a Marina, then it isn't on C&RT waters and doesn't need to be licensed, . . . . whatever the fantasists in C&RT may say, or wish, to the contrary.

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Definitely Brain of Britain material this ombudsman. I had a look at the houseboat assignment case [which was at least helpful for the complainant selling the boat, if not for the purchaser], and his Solomonic grasp of the relevant legislative background is breath-taking.

 

I decided that whether it would be assignable should be determined by the Trust’s own rules and policies. There are certain conditions under which a houseboat certificate would not be assignable . . .”

 

the 1971 Act provides only for a houseboat certificate to be transferred for the unexpired portion of the current certificate. My view was that there was no basis on which I could decide that an assigned certificate should be renewable indefinitely.”

 

If any excuse existed for this gentleman’s profound and willing ignorance, none does for Ms Lewis, to whom he will have turned for approval.

 

 

What I find most disturbing about Walker is that prior to embarking on the present chapter in his career, he held a fairly responsible position looking after nuclear reactors.

 

I think we can all count ourselves very fortunate not to have been vapourized into oblivion, . . . the level of risk in having someone such as this messing about with a nuclear reactor certainly puts the Cuban missile crisis into a different perspective.

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Since when did not living on it and keeping it in a marina* excuse you from needing a licence?

 

 

 

*Unless one of the few not subject to a NAA. Which marina is it?

It doesn't. Just haven't had chance to get it all sorted, main issue was not having a valid BSS which is now sorted. Must admit I have not been very organised on the boat front due to being a recently new single dad (long story) and working full time long hours and the extra hassle of an on going court case in the family courts.

 

Still, two weeks out of license and it is all in hand to be sorted on Monday isn't that bad surely? Coming from the view point of me having 2 or 3 boats for the last 6 years which have always been licensed.

 

My main point, if you care to climb down of your judgemental high horse - is that they threatened section 28 proceedings because the boat is listed as a continuous cruiser and has been spotted malingering in the same place since January and not complying with the move every 14 days rule. The simple fact that the boat is in a Marina on a mooring has not registered with their fantastic computer system.

 

I did already clear this issue up way back in July, yet at the tail end of last week received the letter from Shoosmiths. CaRT have since backed down and apologised.

 

No doubt when I apply for a license on Monday they will tell me I am not eligible for one despite emails from them to the contrary.

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It doesn't. Just haven't had chance to get it all sorted, main issue was not having a valid BSS which is now sorted. Must admit I have not been very organised on the boat front due to being a recently new single dad (long story) and working full time long hours and the extra hassle of an on going court case in the family courts.

 

Still, two weeks out of license and it is all in hand to be sorted on Monday isn't that bad surely? Coming from the view point of me having 2 or 3 boats for the last 6 years which have always been licensed.

 

My main point, if you care to climb down of your judgemental high horse - is that they threatened section 28 proceedings because the boat is listed as a continuous cruiser and has been spotted malingering in the same place since January and not complying with the move every 14 days rule. The simple fact that the boat is in a Marina on a mooring has not registered with their fantastic computer system.

 

I did already clear this issue up way back in July, yet at the tail end of last week received the letter from Shoosmiths. CaRT have since backed down and apologised.

 

No doubt when I apply for a license on Monday they will tell me I am not eligible for one despite emails from them to the contrary.

 

 

My apologies, I missed the bit in your post where you said one of the reasons for the S28 was for not moving despite being on your mooring.

 

In which case I'll stay on my judgemental high horse if I may, and condemn CRT/Shoosmiths instead!

Edited by Mike the Boilerman
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Definitely Brain of Britain material this ombudsman. I had a look at the houseboat assignment case [which was at least helpful for the complainant selling the boat, if not for the purchaser], and his Solomonic grasp of the relevant legislative background is breath-taking.

 

I decided that whether it would be assignable should be determined by the Trust’s own rules and policies. There are certain conditions under which a houseboat certificate would not be assignable . . .”

 

the 1971 Act provides only for a houseboat certificate to be transferred for the unexpired portion of the current certificate. My view was that there was no basis on which I could decide that an assigned certificate should be renewable indefinitely.”

 

If any excuse existed for this gentleman’s profound and willing ignorance, none does for Ms Lewis, to whom he will have turned for approval.

 

 

Having looked back over the correspondence and communications with Walker in 2014 when he was colluding with C&RT during his 'independent' investigation into the formal Complaint I had made, there are distinct echoes here of almost exactly the same degree of profound ignorance and weird thinking.

 

In Walker's strange world 'mal-administration' occurs only if C&RT fail to adhere to their own policies and procedures, irrespective of whether or not those same policies and procedures are in line with whatever is laid down in the relevant legislation.

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Nice row of green buoys now visible from Carrington bridge over the Severn by the Ketch pub

 

I think you may be missing the point.

These green buoys are navigational marks, and whatever the Waterways Nobrainsman may think, do NOT require Planning consent prior to establishment.

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Nice row of green buoys now visible from Carrington bridge over the Severn by the Ketch pub

 

Presumably they are positioned relative to the 'hazard' so you have to pass them to Port side when heading downstream.

 

They would have been better to use the cardinal markers then there would be no question which side to pass.

 

Cardinal-Marks.jpg

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Presumably they are positioned relative to the 'hazard' so you have to pass them to Port side when heading downstream.

 

They would have been better to use the cardinal markers then there would be no question which side to pass.

 

 

Or they could be marking multiple wrecks, all sunk in a neat row after hitting an unmarked obstruction which has been placed in the river without Planning Permission.

 

I doubt that C&RT would want to use Cardinal marks without 'prior consent' from the Vatican.

Edited by Tony Dunkley
  • Greenie 2
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My apologies, I missed the bit in your post where you said one of the reasons for the S28 was for not moving despite being on your mooring.

 

In which case I'll stay on my judgemental high horse if I may, and condemn CRT/Shoosmiths instead!

He's not the only one.....a friend of mine has had a marina mooring since 2013, which the enforcement officer was aware of,but as nobody at CRT had updated the records correctly, was threatened with a short term licence for not CC-ING "correctly"

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My apologies, I missed the bit in your post where you said one of the reasons for the S28 was for not moving despite being on your mooring.

 

In which case I'll stay on my judgemental high horse if I may, and condemn CRT/Shoosmiths instead!

No worries. They have since backed down.

 

What does worry me is I have had exactly the same letter come through for my other boat. They have stated that I am not moving enough and then ask me to get a mooring. And on the next page they list my home mooring and other details...

 

No doubt it will be a nightmare to get a license for that.

 

It would appear that CaRTs system is not well set up for people with multiple boats.

Presumably you were within 74 mtrs of the entrance gates?

I don't believe so. Do expand...

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I don't believe so. Do expand...

Just a little uncharacteristic silliness on my part. You spoke of s.28 where you may have meant s.8 of the 1983 Act? That Act does not have a s.28, but the 1995 Act does - and that deals with the geographic extent of BW's jurisdiction in Limehouse, which only extends 74 mtrs from the lock gates.

 

I am sure it was just a typo, but if not perhaps you could explain what s.28 you referred to?

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If the boat is in a Marina, then it isn't on C&RT waters and doesn't need to be licensed, . . . .

 

To expand on that a little, respecting MtB’s reference to NAA’s – if a marina requires boats to be licensed [on their own accord or by reason of compulsion under NAA’s], that is a matter between their customer and them alone; CaRT may [legitimately or not] take steps against the marina for breach of contract, but only the marina can take such action against their own customer.

 

S.8 powers, in other words, have no place under the circumstances. CaRT have no more power to demand removal of a boat from water outside their jurisdiction than they have power to demand removal of a boat from hardstanding/on a private driveway – and removal of a boat from their waterways is all that the s.8 power provides for; it is not [despite protestations to the contrary] anything at all to do with licence enforcement.

 

In Rufford's case, if he was staying put at his home marina mooring while unlicensed, then he was doing the right thing respecting CaRT legislation, whether or not the marina required him to have a licence. For CaRT to threaten s.8 proceedings under those circumstances was risible; how do you remove a boat from CaRT waters when it is not on CaRT waters?

 

It is a bit like the demands I once received for £250 late payment fee for my 'portable unpowered craft', because I had not re-licensed it prior to the existing licence running out - how could I be penalised for having an unlicensed craft when it had been spending the off-season in a wardrobe? How would you go on to s.8 a craft under those circumstances? [i have to confess - even when in the water, I never managed to 'continuously cruise' it for more than a few minutes at a time.]

 

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