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Flossie007

Continuous cruising case - liveaboard homes at risk

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Flossie007    0

The National Bargee Travellers Association has issued this press release:

British Waterways v Davies:

BW to Revise Continuous Cruising Guidelines

 

But live-aboard boaters’ homes now at risk

from court judgement

 

The judgement in British Waterways v Paul Davies handed down on 31st March 2011 in Bristol County Court could have serious consequences for all continuously cruising live-aboard boaters. However, the outcome also means that British Waterways (BW) is to redraft the Mooring Guidance for Continuous Cruisers. In particular BW is likely to drop the requirement to make a progressive journey and to travel around a significant part of the canal network.

 

The judgement was sealed in the County Court and therefore only refers to Mr Davies. It does not create a formal legal precedent, but it is clear that BW will try to rely on it in future cases.

 

The judgement ruled that Mr Davies, who works, socialises and navigates in the 10 mile stretch between Bath and Bradford on Avon, was not using his boat bona fide for navigation. This aspect of the judgement did not consider the right to respect for his home, family and private life conferred by Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. As a consequence of this judgement, many live-aboard boaters may be rendered homeless by BW.

 

The judgement on the meaning of “bona fide for navigation” appears to suggest that a live-aboard boater without a home mooring must genuinely intend to navigate the canal system and not move simply to comply with the law.

 

Nick Brown, the Legal Officer of the National Bargee Travellers Association (NBTA), said “This really does pave the way for social cleansing. The judgement defined ‘bona fide for navigation’ as the intention to navigate in good faith. According to this logic, if you drove at 30 miles per hour in a 30 MPH zone you would be prosecuted for speeding if you were simply observing the speed limit in order to comply with the law, rather than because you believed that 30 MPH was the appropriate speed to drive at. This would make BW the ‘Thought Police’ “.

 

On the positive side, any live-aboards subjected to Section 8 action by BW must be given the opportunity to defend themselves in court.

 

What BW is glossing over is that although the court found that Mr Davies was not using his boat bona fide for navigation, the judgement envisaged a use of the boat that falls short of the Mooring Guidance for Continuous Cruisers but would still comply with the legislation. In consequence, BW has now accepted that it does not have the power to enforce the continuous cruising guidelines in their present form.

 

The NBTA is taking legal advice.

 

--- ENDS ---

 

NOTES FOR EDITORS

About The National Bargee Travellers Association

 

Established in 2009, The National Bargee Travellers Association represents and advises Bargee Travellers (itinerants who live on boats) in particular in relation to their housing needs and in defence of their rights under the European Convention on Human Rights. It is a networking organisation that helps vulnerable boat dwelling communities protect themselves.

 

The NBTA also liaises with the settled community and works with public sector bodies such as British Waterways and the Environment Agency in formulating policy and legislation.

 

For more information contact:

WWW www.bargee-traveller.org.uk

E-mail: press@bargee-traveller.org.uk

Tel: +44 (0) 7867 75 70 95

Fax: +44 (0) 870 288 9520

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ymu    42

Ah ha! Getting closer to the truth now then. The mealy-mouthed wording in the BW press release is explained. B)

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The National Bargee Travellers Association has issued this press release:

Perhaps they should take 'Travellers' out of the name to comply with the Trade Descriptions Act. :D

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Minos    39
The judgement on the meaning of “bona fide for navigation” appears to suggest that a live-aboard boater without a home mooring must genuinely intend to navigate the canal system and not move simply to comply with the law.

I don't personally believe that this interpretation of the ruling stands scrutiny.

 

Judge O’Malley' words were, 'What is clear to me is that the defendant who is clearly living on the boat cannot successfully claim that he is using it ‘bona fide for navigation’ by moving it every so often up and down a short stretch of canal.'

 

The implication is not that continuous cruisers must 'navigate the system' but that remaining within the same ten mile stretch of the waterways cannot be defined as 'continuous cruising.' The precise definition of continuous cruising is not clear, that is obvious, but I think that this interpretation is specious.

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If you buy and licence a boat, you agree to the conditions of the boat licence.

 

The actions by BW follow within the definitions of your agreement . .. .

Quote"

Nick Brown, the Legal Officer of the National Bargee Travellers Association (NBTA), said “This really does pave the way for social cleansing. The judgement defined ‘bona fide for navigation’ as the intention to navigate in good faith. According to this logic, if you drove at 30 miles per hour in a 30 MPH zone you would be prosecuted for speeding if you were simply observing the speed limit in order to comply with the law, rather than because you believed that 30 MPH was the appropriate speed to drive at. This would make BW the ‘Thought Police’ “.Close quote

 

It is my contention that Nick Brown is spouting a load of tosh . . . . . .

He surely cannot seriously claim that the Licence terms pave the way for social cleansing purely because he, or similarly minded members, retrospectively change thier decision about Bone Fide navigation?

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NB Alnwick    16

Is this organisation for real or just another 1st April ruse?

 

Albeit a day or so late . . .

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carlt    2,290
The NBTA seeks to uphold the rights of all Bargee Travellers including recognition as an ethnic minority group both in law and in society.

I believe somebody may be taking themselves a little bit too seriously.

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Is this organisation for real or just another 1st April ruse?

 

Albeit a day or so late . . .

 

A quote from their auspicious website:

 

"

The NBTA seeks to uphold the rights of all Bargee Travellers including recognition as an ethnic minority group both in law and in society. Following from recognition in law grows a range of rights all too regularly trodden under foot by local and central Government and the NBTA seeks to see the rights of Bargee Travellers upheld. The NBTA also engages in lobbying Central and Local Government to improve conditions for Bargee Travellers.

 

"

 

I wonder if we all have to become members of the ethnic minority - or whether we can create our own minority splinter group (shard?)

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ymu    42

The judge seems to be saying that bona fide for navigation is not shuttling up and down a short stretch all the time, but does not imply as strong an interpretation as BW's CC guidance.

 

My guess is that if you wander off further afield every so often, and move up and down a fairly long - say 30 to 50 miles of canal or river - keeping strictly to the 14 day rule, you will be fine. There just needs to be some sort of 'destination' in mind. We're heading for Bristol from Brum at the moment, which is well within the guidelines, of course, but why shouldn't we decide to turn around at Oxford and head back Banbury way for a few months in the middle to prolong our proximity to work and friends?

 

It would seem that common sense might prevail, and the judgement has essentially said that both parties are wrong.

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Dignity    6

what rubbish, BW will not render anyone homeless who complies with their legal obligations as laid out in the license terms and conditions.~if you chooose to ignore the rules then you will render yourself homeless. TAKE RESPONSILITY FOR YOUR OWN ACTIONS. What they are seeking to do is to prevent anyone from illegally taking up a pemanent mooring spot to which they are not entitled. Boater or not you have to pay your way in life and just because it does not suit you to pay for amooring does not mean that you can choose to ignore the law.

Spot on. I might not like the speed limit in my car and I can choose to obey it or not,but if I get caught speeding thats my own fault.Rather think this gentleman caused his own problems.As for the rest of us,personally I think we may be getting a little steamed up about it all.Time will tell.

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alan_fincher    1,847

Well having looked at the website they are clearly earnest, if nothing else.

 

"Bargee Traveller" seems in my view to be about the naffest name they could have come up with, and the presence of the Harry H Corbett photo at the head of the page is clearly supposed to be their inspiration.

 

The NBTA is an organisation open to all but is run by and extends a welcome to those who live on their boats and travel, 12 months a year and as part of their lifestyle, in other words not just for the summer and not just for fun. NBTA members have made a choice to live on a boat as opposed to live in “bricks and mortar” but this choice is regularly made “for them” by ever escalating house prices and the oppressive nature of modern terrestrial life.

 

Perhaps they can extend their influence to convince most of our local live-aboard boaters that the bit I have highlighted is actually feasible!

Edited by alan_fincher

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CV32    28

"Bargee Traveller" sounds like a mobile version of my favourite dish from my local indian restaurant :)

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NB Alnwick    16

So those of us who choose to live aboard are an 'ethnic group' - that explains everything . . .

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Phoenix_V    85

 

 

Judge O’Malley' words were, 'What is clear to me is that the defendant who is clearly living on the boat cannot successfully claim that he is using it ‘bona fide for navigation’ by moving it every so often up and down a short stretch of canal.'

 

 

Has the full judgement been published please - if so where?

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Bunny    23

Does this mean that one day we might, just might be able to find an overnight mooring between Bradford on Avon and Bath (selfish I know). Oh and please don't tell my husband he is part of an 'ethnic' group. Bunny

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Has the full judgement been published please - if so where?

 

No but I have requested a copy under the foi act from BW.

 

I have requested a response via whatdotheyknow.com so that it is in the public domain.

 

Request

 

Unfortunately, BW consider themselves to be above the law as far as freedom of information goes. If it suits them, them will delay providing the information (a simple five minute job)or not provide it at all.

 

If anyone does have a copy which they would like published, I am happy to do so.

 

The background to this case is here.

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Sir Nibble    806

What is it with these people? This reminds me heavily of the KandA website, if they are going to argue a case they might at least do so in an adult manner. Being expected to abide by a legal declaration does not qualify as nazi oppression.

Ethnic group indeed, "Sally Eichmann", it's all so sadly immature and devoid of proper adult engagement. If this is the kind of juvenile rubbish people are being persuaded to pin their hopes on then more will lose their homes.

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carlt    2,290

What is it with these people? This reminds me heavily of the KandA website, if they are going to argue a case they might at least do so in an adult manner. Being expected to abide by a legal declaration does not qualify as nazi oppression.

Ethnic group indeed, "Sally Eichmann", it's all so sadly immature and devoid of proper adult engagement. If this is the kind of juvenile rubbish people are being persuaded to pin their hopes on then more will lose their homes.

 

Whilst agreeing wholeheartedly with you, I do sense a little bit of a 'pot, kettle, black' situation when, after I made a light hearted jibe about that other oppressed minority....Southerners, I got this reaction...

 

Sorry but I'm right. This is not some idiot opinion, it is accepted as part of modern anti discriminatory practices and "safeguarding". If you really believe that continuing with a line of humour which a recipient has told you is demeaning and hurtful on the grounds that your belief trumps their feelings then you are a bully. But you're not are you, so what you need to do here is practice a little empathy. Would a round of jokes concerning the ridicule of your son's difference be acceptable?

I find this hurtful, not because I choose to but because that's the way it makes me feel.

 

If me making a joke about nesh Southerners elicits that response, surely threatening another group's home and lifestyle should prompt a proportional response?

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Sir Nibble    806

Whilst agreeing wholeheartedly with you, I do sense a little bit of a 'pot, kettle, black' situation when, after I made a light hearted jibe about that other oppressed minority....Southerners, I got this reaction...

 

 

 

If me making a joke about nesh Southerners elicits that response, surely threatening another group's home and lifestyle should prompt a proportional response?

Where when and how have I ever threatened anyones home or lifestyle? All I have ever done is voice the opinion that this lifestyle is unlawful. If Mr Davies had taken my opinion to heart instead of the fools who think namecalling counts as a campaign he would not have lost his home. I am inclined to wonder how many are still accepting the "ultra vires" line from the same bunch of amateurs and stand to lose their homes too before some people are willing to climb down off their egos and see which way the wind is blowing.

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carlt    2,290

Where when and how have I ever threatened anyones home or lifestyle?

You haven't and I never said you did.

 

If a group feels threatened or offended in any way, though, surely you, after your rant about the oppression of Southerners, should respect their right to defend their corner, no matter how silly it makes them look?

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Sir Nibble    806

You haven't and I never said you did.

 

If a group feels threatened or offended in any way, though, surely you, after your rant about the oppression of Southerners, should respect their right to defend their corner, no matter how silly it makes them look?

Of course! I am entirely supportive of their right to defend their position, I am simply exasperated that when the stakes are so high that defence is in the hands of people working at the level of a playground argument. There is a great deal that could be achieved on behalf of this group in the way of damage limitation by adult constructive engagement, simply insulting the other side of the debate and repeating tired worn out and unsupported mantras leads one way only, down the pan. Let us not forget that someone has lost their home, that is no basis upon which to score debating points, I foresee more going the same way because of the incompetant leadership these people place their trust in.

In my view the big print in this sad affair reads "MISLEAD" and "LET DOWN".

Edited by Sir Nibble
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muddywaters    32

I fail to see how if someone is living aboard and genuinely CCing this will cause a problem.

By genuinely CCing I mean going from A to B then B to C then from C to D will have a problem.

Anyone doing anything else such as just moving around in a small area to stay in one place for work or any other reason is NOT A GENUINE CCer and as such should have a permanent mooring.

Hardly rocket science is it

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