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The Spaniard

Petition To Prevent The Eviction Of Boat Dwellers Handed In

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I spent 5 glorious years on the River Lea, it is a tragedy that the authorities want to end this of life. It's almost as if they don't want people to live in genuinely affordable accommodation and strong self supporting communities.

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Are we saying the boat homers are obeying the law, but the rivers people have a policy they made up?

If that is the case, then you can have my signature.

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Crt cannot specify the distance they need to move so how can they say they are breaking any laws/ rules and refuse to renew the licence

Most marinas use the same get out clauses so residents can avoid council tax

This is clearly a case of not in my backyard snobbery

Edited by long time lurking

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The issue is that "itinerant" boaters receive favourable treatment, over permanent moorings. The idea is that people passing through are eligible for low-cost/free moorings for a short period of time. If they want to stay, then they need to find appropriate permanent moorings.

What has been happening is that loads of people have been moving onto boats, then applying for itinerant mooring licences, but not actually moving; or moving between two adjacent moorings, when they exceed their permitted length of stay at each one.

This has effectively made this system for providing easy moorings for bona fide travellers unworkable. As a result, the canal and rivers trust is cracking down, and threatening to refuse licence renewal to boaters that don't actually move a meaningful distance.

As to whether this stated aim is actually their real aim, or whether there is an ulterior motive, however, is far from clear.

Edited by ChumpusRex

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I tried to post this on the 'News Blog' a couple of weeks ago,but it didn't show (why?). It sounds similar to an ethnic purge to me. BH on Radio 4 had a slot on it, and there is more here on the BBC website.

The Canal & River Trust are arguing that there are more canal boats than ever before, but forcing bargees to play musical chairs isn't going to make extra space...only destuction of boats will. I for one have never walked along the canal and thought there were too many canal boats, or how dreadful it looked having boats on it,.

If people can't realistically live on boats, the value is going to plummet, and then breaking them up will not seem such a pain. Job done.

The CRT currently has seven residential mooring licences available for the whole of England and Wales, so destruction is going to occur.

Can a Quango arbitrarily alter the interpretation of rules like they are doing? If a person had lived for 4 years in a house without planning permission, wouldn't it have become lawful? Some of the people affected would have been living on the canal a lot longer than four years, but with no protection from the law.

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I can't see the harm of tracking boats on waterways. allow people to move between moorings a few miles apart but limit congestion for the people actually just passing though.

The technology is well tested on cars, surely with a rigid network of canals it's even easier.

as popularity grows introduce a waterways fund tax. To build and improve more mooring sites.

could even link mooring rights to proof of nearby places of work so you can clear away the oldies.

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This is hardly a problem in most of the country, but I live a short distance from the Regents Canal in Hackney and we've seen a dramatic rise in the number of houseboats. I completely understand why this has happened, what with the rising cost of living in the area, but the Canal and River Trust has a duty to manage the situation.

To a city worker like me it sometimes seems a traditional and idyllic lifestyle, but there's another side to it. Some of the vessels are beyond dilapidated. I saw one 'houseboat' a few months ago which was little more than a rowing boat with a tent pitched in it. Old container ship lifeboats, rotten coachwork patched up with tarpaulin and (worst of all) the emergence of 'luxury' houseboats that must be making a mint for some private individual off the back of a public amenity.

I suspect you'll probably find a significant rise in this problem since the squatting laws were tightened. A solution to London's housing problem will not be found by creating a permanent floating slum. Working people in London should be able to afford decent housing on dry land. Living on a boat should be an alternative and largely transient lifestyle choice, not a financial necessity.

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Can a Quango arbitrarily alter the interpretation of rules like they are doing? If a person had lived for 4 years in a house without planning permission, wouldn't it have become lawful? Some of the people affected would have been living on the canal a lot longer than four years, but with no protection from the law.

They are not altered the rules at all, they have merely clarified them. If you are continuously cruising then this should involve bona fide navigation. That has always been the case, they have merely stated what they do not classify as bona fide navigation because it has remained undefined for many years.

The question of boaters residential status is not of any concern to the trust, which is purely a matter between the boater and the local council. The trust is only concerned with the issuance of licences to boats and the enforcement of the terms of those licences.

The problem is not with the trust behaving badly, it is one of both the trust and local councils not being tasked with recognising the need to provide more, a lot more, residential moorings.

This is a problem of the goverments making and the government needs to intervene to find a solution that involves recognising that people live on boats, that they are not second class citizens, and their needs must be catered for.

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I don't object to people living in boats,I was one of them for twelve years but turning certain patches of the canal into floating favellas must be stopped.The over populated parts of the system should have long stretches of forty eight hour moorings to stop people settling in.

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The issue is that "itinerant" boaters receive favourable treatment, over permanent moorings. The idea is that people passing through are eligible for low-cost/free moorings for a short period of time. If they want to stay, then they need to find appropriate permanent moorings.

What has been happening is that loads of people have been moving onto boats, then applying for itinerant mooring licences, but not actually moving; or moving between two adjacent moorings, when they exceed their permitted length of stay at each one.

This has effectively made this system for providing easy moorings for bona fide travellers unworkable. As a result, the canal and rivers trust is cracking down, and threatening to refuse licence renewal to boaters that don't actually move a meaningful distance.

As to whether this stated aim is actually their real aim, or whether there is an ulterior motive, however, is far from clear.

this is the point...are they breaking any laws, or is this a policy that is being enforced on the whim of an authority who find the law they are there to support is duff?

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The issue is that "itinerant" boaters receive favourable treatment, over permanent moorings. The idea is that people passing through are eligible for low-cost/free moorings for a short period of time. If they want to stay, then they need to find appropriate permanent moorings.

What has been happening is that loads of people have been moving onto boats, then applying for itinerant mooring licences, but not actually moving; or moving between two adjacent moorings, when they exceed their permitted length of stay at each one.

This has effectively made this system for providing easy moorings for bona fide travellers unworkable. As a result, the canal and rivers trust is cracking down, and threatening to refuse licence renewal to boaters that don't actually move a meaningful distance.

As to whether this stated aim is actually their real aim, or whether there is an ulterior motive, however, is far from clear.

That is different to what I see locally on the canalside. The limited - 24hour/48 hour/whatever short stay sections are generally pretty clear but there are long stretches where liveaboards predominate. Over the last few years they have been playing the section to section shuffle between bridges to get around their "permanent" status. Some are well kept some are little more that floating tents. Fact of life is this way of life this is one of the last resorts for many. One chao I know has one to be near his disabled son and could not afford to live locally, wide variety of people from all sorts of backgrounds, most far friendlier than anybody you meet in the street. Very easily fixed as mentioned above by putting just enough 24 hour / 48 hour sections for holidaying travellers. Fact is this country has a serious housing problem. Would not surprise me if government are fully behind or actually put CRT up to this.

Even well outside of London/SE some residential moorings going to sealed bids. So that is not a solution either as there simply are not enough to go around and there are more canal boats than during the peak of industrial canal building/usage.

Edited by onlyme2

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I tried to post this on the 'News Blog' a couple of weeks ago,but it didn't show (why?). It sounds similar to an ethnic purge to me. BH on Radio 4 had a slot on it, and there is more here on the BBC website.

The Canal & River Trust are arguing that there are more canal boats than ever before, but forcing bargees to play musical chairs isn't going to make extra space...only destuction of boats will. I for one have never walked along the canal and thought there were too many canal boats, or how dreadful it looked having boats on it,.

If people can't realistically live on boats, the value is going to plummet, and then breaking them up will not seem such a pain. Job done.

The CRT currently has seven residential mooring licences available for the whole of England and Wales, so destruction is going to occur.

Can a Quango arbitrarily alter the interpretation of rules like they are doing? If a person had lived for 4 years in a house without planning permission, wouldn't it have become lawful? Some of the people affected would have been living on the canal a lot longer than four years, but with no protection from the law.

Likewise, I walk/cycle on the canal system almost daily, much prefer it to have some character and people on it than otherwise.

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