Heffalump

"Permanent Mooring"

205 posts in this topic

4 hours ago, Gordias said:

Difficulties and cost of enforcement of byelaws

  • The byelaws themselves provide no other penalty than small fines

Arguably £100 is at least commensurate with roughly equivalent ‘parking’ fines. On top of which there will a Court Order for CaRT’s costs, and a recorded criminal offence. I daresay that CaRT could follow the example of highway authorities, and offer the opportunity of paying half to them, rather than face the full fine upon conviction - then CaRT would at least get £50 a pop.

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4 hours ago, Gordias said:
  • Note 1: I don't know if the legal costs to CaRT of enforcing each case of byelaw infraction would be the same as their current average costs for e.g. a "section 8" or significantly less.  I'd appreciate some data if you have it

The average costs of their routine s.8 court cases between 2012 and 2017 [excluding a few oddball cases where no specific costs were awarded, and the expensive specialist cases of Mayers; Horne; Moore, and Ward] were: £1,175, accounting for 37 cases.

The usual costs are under £1,000, though even in the list I used, a couple of cases reached £4,500 to £6,800 for inexplicable reasons, upping the average. Removing those would give a better average figure of: £918.

On the few occasions where boaters have fought the issue, costs have escalated to £50k; £100k, to £250k [with an additional court order of costs against them].

Bear in mind that these are the legal costs only, where liveaboards are involved. The standard cost of actually removing and storing boats, whether nicked with or without court orders, is £5,500 – only recoverable through an eventual sale if the boat is worth considerably more, unless the boater is prepared to cough up in order to retrieve their boat – but only 9 boats were retrieved in the same time period, out of the several hundred that were seized [most without court orders].

According to CaRT any boat worth under £3,000 is simply destroyed [which will cost yet more], and it follows that any boat above that value that cannot fetch more than about £6,000 will result in a net loss. A perhaps extreme case is that of Mayers, which cost in excess of an irrecoverable £100k at court, plus £10,135.20 in removal and 6 weeks storage costs [rising at £72/week thereafter], while the asking price at one stage, when CaRT eventually put “Pearl” up for sale, was less than £4,000. I have no knowledge of whether they even got a sale at that price.

A Small Claims court fee [where sums were actually owed, as would apply to an unlicensed or unregistered boat] would range from £25 to £455, and could be pursued by salaried legal officers at no extra cost.

A prosecution for a byelaw or statute offence carries a court cost [according to one site I looked at] usually fixed at £125, and again, the case can be presented by appropriately qualified in-house salaried employees from the legal department.

So from any perspective, removal of boats, even without using the courts, is hugely more expensive than the alternative court routes to enforcement, the court costs being recoverable upon successful conviction.

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5 hours ago, Gordias said:

 

 

5 hours ago, Gordias said:

FWIW I think the whole issue was caused by the BW guy who's named in the 1990 Select Committee you linked for me a few days ago.  BW seems to have had no idea of what was needed, or perhaps just didn't care.

I think that is unfair Gordias. BW had a very clear idea of what was needed, and it has to be admitted that most of the mooring clauses they asked for – to address exactly your identified concerns – were administratively desirable. The problem was that they wanted to create criminal offences for breach of the desired statutes [presumably this would have been possible with appropriate wording, whereas byelaws automatically create the offence]. That was the sticking point for the Select Committee, who strongly objected, realising that once law, abuse by the authority of their powers was always a possibility.

What I do not understand is why BW did not amend the Bill to meet the Committee’s concerns, instead of pulling the mooring clauses altogether, while muttering darkly about the significant problems they presciently saw arising for lack of them.

It remains possible for CaRT to introduce these clauses as new byelaws should they really wish – and Nigel Johnson had drawn up a completely revamped set of draft byelaws that included almost word for word, the rejected mooring clauses of the 1990 Bill – but my suspicion is that for so long as they can get away with the more violently aggressive assertion of powers to revoke licences for breach of what they arbitrarily incorporate within T&C’s, they will not bother; they are evidently happy with wielding so large a stick, and most boaters seem happy enough for them to do so.

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3 hours ago, DRP said:

 You're a p**s artist, even if you have got a CRT licence and a "permanent" mooring several hundred miles away that you "share" with several other people.

When CRT introduced the requirement for boats with a home mooring to cruise as if in fact they had purchased a license for a boat without a home mooring Sally Ash the then head of boating said it was to address the problem they were experiencing with boats with a ghost home mooring. I asked her at a meeting specifically to quantify the scale of the problem and she was unable to do so as she did not have that information. I imagine this is still the case today.

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6 minutes ago, Tuscan said:

When CRT introduced the requirement for boats with a home mooring to cruise as if in fact they had purchased a license for a boat without a home mooring Sally Ash the then head of boating said it was to address the problem they were experiencing with boats with a ghost home mooring. I asked her at a meeting specifically to quantify the scale of the problem and she was unable to do so as she did not have that information. I imagine this is still the case today.

The 'problem' was obviously also a ghost then.

Keith

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