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 RTA Moorings Meeting 29/02/2012

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David Harvey

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PostSubject: RTA Moorings Meeting 29/02/2012   Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:29 pm

Attended the River Thames Alliance mooring meeting this morning in Reading (10:00)

We have been to them before but this was the big annual meeting and high on the agenda was illegally moored boaters. The chairmans opening adress said that the issue is growing and now affecting many parts of the Thames and must be addressed.

The EA only have jurisdiction over mooring on their own assets, so if its on council or private land, they can not intervene bar amking sure the craft are licenced and insured, and most are!



A few highlights below


There were talks from the EA, locals councils and other river groups about the river which included overall management of the locks and waterways.

Oxford City council have as bad a problem with illegal boats as anywhere on the river. He went on to talk about areas where they have found virtual encampments of boats, also taken over public land, like a squat.

One major issue is that there are so many different land owners it has been difficult identifying who owns what, and getting all the parties to together. The mapping of that area took 6 months and in that identified a number of 'packets' of land with no ownership.

The illegal moorers got wind of this and have been putting in FOI's to get the list. So no ownership of the land = free mooring, no hassle. 10/10 for them doing it, clever cookies for sure

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/umbeg_meetings_2?unfold=1

Work with Unlawfully Moored Boats (UMBEG) was formed as a collaborative approach to working with partners so resolve the problem, identify hotspots, share intelligence



The Thames Landscape Strategy for Kingston council talked about new mooring on the Thames, Their is proposal to ahve visitor mooring along Queens promenade in Kingston, more here and they need any comments

http://www.kingston.gov.uk/kingston_moorings_plan_implementation_report.pdf


EA update in very brief:

Adding 11 more warranted staff to patrol the river, plus a further 20 volunteer boatmen
Increasing patrols and visibility
Using powers under the Inland Waterways (IWO 2010) order to prosecute offenders
Income rising through better payment at locks and moorings
A number of cases coming to court very soon that could be significant if proven


David Allister of Richmond Council gave a talk about the new byelaw. They will have specific areas of 24 hour mooring and areas of no mooring, all with much better signage to make it very clear. mentioned that in the past, any new signs had been taken town within days of going up.
New local enforcement team will be put in place.

The new byelaw with give them the legal right to prosecute which is very difficult at present. The illegal moorers know all their rights and has made it very difficult to do anything. The Byelaw could take 2-years to come into force but are putting pressure on about this.

http://www.richmond.gov.uk/home/council_government_and_democracy/council/council_consultations/consultation_details.htm?id=C00937

Whilst this new byelaw is not perfect, it will stop permanent mooring which is the greatest problem. yes they can 'buddy up, and swap places on 24 hour mooring, but still they have to move. I think we support this move as the TAC, any comments?


Lastly there was an open forum and was raised again about where the illegal moorers go, the ones who are in genuine need of housing, as against those who just are playing the system. No real answer to this as of yet.

This is only a summary of the meeting. Rolling Eyes


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Steve Holmes



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PostSubject: Re: RTA Moorings Meeting 29/02/2012   Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:27 pm

David Harvey wrote:

Whilst this new byelaw is not perfect, it will stop permanent mooring which is the greatest problem. yes they can 'buddy up, and swap places on 24 hour mooring, but still they have to move. I think we support this move as the TAC, any comments?


Yes mate got a comment Smile If they're going to all the trouble of making a new law why don't they make a law that works and can't be got round easily?

As had been shown, the boaters aren't mugs and will find loopholes. This proposed byelaw is so easy to get round I spotted the loophole first time round in roughly 0.4 seconds Rolling Eyes They'll be even quicker than me.

We won't get back our swims and fishing amenity unless the new law has no loopholes.
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David Harvey

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PostSubject: Re: RTA Moorings Meeting 29/02/2012   Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:16 am

Yep agree but the proposed byelaw means that it would only be on legal and controlled moorings, so not littered up and down wherever. Plus not being able to permanently moor unless a residential site.

What you have upstream of Teddington is 20-30 boats permanently moored on council land, so living there and not moving.

What this does do is get our swims back, so our loss of amenity and gives the council an ultimate powers to prosecute the law breakers.

Well that's how I see it folks, depends what we want to achieve



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Steve Appleford



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PostSubject: Re: RTA Moorings Meeting 29/02/2012   Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:33 am

Dave first off well done on attending another meeting big thumb icon....The number at Oxford has been caused by a few years ago now BW getting tough on unregistered boats on the Oxford canal removing some so many just dipped out onto the Thames where enforcement is well...Its all well and good having a few more staff to send out in the patrol boats but a lot of these peeps have no addy to send court summons to which is where it falls down as i understand it but dave would know more .
Can they not add a no return within 30 days to bylaw to help shut loophole??Are they going to have someone walk the banks checking?? otherwise previous amendment and whole bylaw waste of time??
Hate overstayers/illegal moorers from a boating as well as fishing point of view ,Hopefully something can be done for you guys...Reading council mooved against the ones outside Tescos moorings here a while ago but they still return or simply moved across the river to live on a deserted old wooden barge

...how i prayed for a flood and not just to help fishing Rolling Eyes
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David Harvey

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PostSubject: Re: RTA Moorings Meeting 29/02/2012   Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:36 am

Cheers Steve

Was in Reading and they have a serious problem and saw it first hand, depressing. What they have done is put up a load of new signs, well they did but got shown them today and its just 4 screws holes in the ground, in about 8 places. Either the illegals took them off or metal theft, either way the council must be fuming.

About having no return in 28 days, yes agree but what would it do for holidaying or casual visitors who are just cruising around. The general theme was that they want to encourage more visitors, so more visitor moorings, so adding any specific time frame would be counter productive?

Not an easy question to answer for sure.



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PostSubject: Re: RTA Moorings Meeting 29/02/2012   Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:14 pm

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