Saturday 7 May 2011

Letter to The Inland Waterways Association

Narrowboats spelled out the word 'HOME' last Saturday at a community canal event in East London

Photo by Katrin Thomas
More about HOME on London Boaters Facebook page.

The Inland Waterways Association (IWA) is a charity which advocates the conservation, use, maintenance, restoration and development of England’s inland waterways for public benefit.

Draft response by IWA on BW Lee & Stort mooring consultation

Dr Stephen Haigh has written a fantastic response to IWA and has permitted me to publish it here.

RE: Draft response by IWA on the Lee and Stort consultation.

Dear  IWA, having read your charities responses to BWs new mooring plans I felt I must contact you to comment on some of the opinions and wording in the document.
I have a continuous cruiser (CC) licence and live on my boat with my six-month-old daughter and partner, have lived aboard since 2007 and have cruised most of the canal and river network in England in this period.  I now enjoy cruising around the London waterways network and greatly respect the canal and its heritage.
IWA’s comments I object to or think are ill judged I’ll list in parenthesis and in the order they appear in your document.
1)      You state: ‘permanently moored boats have blighted many parts of the system, as they set up camp’. 
This phrasing is offensive to CCers like myself, is without justification, and should be removed.

2)      You state: ‘There is very little in the proposed plan which would inconvenience bona fide continuous cruisers and most other leisure boaters.’ 

Many long-break cruisers with home moorings would find two weeks, too short a period for leisurely exploration of the Stort. 

3)       You State: ‘leisure boaters race down the lower Lee aiming for a safe London moorings such as Limehouse or Little Venice’. 

Think of the amount of CCers who would be racing around if BWs proposals were implemented.  Moreover, there are a great many safe moorings other than Little Venice and Limehouse in central London thanks to the community of CCers that visit those mooring and whom all know each other, producing a safer environment for all.

4)      You State: ‘kill the problem and act as a discouragement for future abuse’. 

This statement is worded poorly when you are talking about people with families.

5)      You State: ‘those trying to ‘squat’ and commute’. 

No CCer is trying to squat.  They own their own licensed boats and have a legitimate right to moor.  This phrase should be removed.

6)      You State: ‘More action needs to be done to prevent moorers taking over the towpath and declaring ╩╗ownership╩╝ of a particular section of waterspace’.   

No one has declared ownership of anything.  Unless you have written evidence for it, this phrase is redundant without foundation.

Your attention to the above issues and wording would be greatly appreciated, before a final response to BW is submitted.  Many thanks.  I look forward to hearing from you. 

Yours Faithfully 

Dr. S. N. Haigh

Useful links

This picture depicts a Boat-Wife defending her rights

What can you do?

Write to BW, You can easily respond to the consultation using this feedback form.

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Thanks in advance for your support.

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