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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
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    Medway
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    19,656

    Default Re: DEFRA/EA Statement re potential transfer of waterways

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_d View Post
    Its that sort of thinking that has got the rivers into the current mess, if you don't ask you don't get. Its not paying for hobbies and pastimes its protecting a vital national resource or whatever. Just needs those in charge to think out of the box and actually care about what they are in charge of.
    Without wishing to cause controversy ask any MP to ask his voters to support providing more funds to provide more staff to provide a better service for boaters on the Thames.
    You could mention the Thames is "Historic" and National Asset in your appeal, especially to those MPs in the rest of the UK, watching 500 SureStart Centres close due to government cuts ?
    The Medway has curiously appeared to have done rather well under the much maligned EA regime, with virtually all the locks and services being bought up to a good standard in the last decade.
    Last edited by oldgit; 07-06-19 at 10:42.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Marlow
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: DEFRA/EA Statement re potential transfer of waterways

    And we might end up turning Buckingham Palace into social housing, bring back hanging and double taxation for the rich some decisions must be made to protect our heritage.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Just a few cables from Boulters Lock
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    12,570

    Default Re: DEFRA/EA Statement re potential transfer of waterways

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquafan View Post
    And we might end up turning Buckingham Palace into social housing, bring back hanging and double taxation for the rich some decisions must be made to protect our heritage.
    I am about to leave for a few days downriver and will be able to see for myself what the current situation is regarding moorings, slum boats, etc.
    My interest is clearly centred on the use of the river for recreational motor boating although I hope I take a responsible and considerate view of the needs of all those who enjoy using the river.
    Currently, the lions share of revenue income is provided by powered craft registration fees and the EA seem woefully incapable of developing new income strategies that will bring in contributions from many others, In my view, there needs to be a radical change in thinking that recognises the public benefit of the waterway and therefore justifies public purse support. Unfortunately, we, the powered craft boaters, still contribute less than 50% of the income required and there are those in the EA/Defra that seem to think we need to make an even larger contribution.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Medway
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    Default Re: DEFRA/EA Statement re potential transfer of waterways

    Am I correct in thinking the EA cannot generate revenue from other sources in its present form and would require an act of Parliament to enable it to do so. ?
    Likely targets such as farmers and water companies would be watching the debate with some interest.
    The prospect of this happening would be of interest to any number of similar organisations, all facing hard choices regards withdrawal of public subsidies .
    Last edited by oldgit; 09-06-19 at 07:32.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Just a few cables from Boulters Lock
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    12,570

    Default Re: DEFRA/EA Statement re potential transfer of waterways

    Quote Originally Posted by oldgit View Post
    Am I correct in thinking the EA cannot generate revenue from other sources in its present form and would require an act of Parliament to enable it to do so. ?
    Likely targets such as farmers and water companies would be watching the debate with some interest.
    The prospect of this happening would be of interest to any number of similar organisations, all facing hard choices regards withdrawal of public subsidies .
    The situation is complex but the EA,s authority to raise income is basically governed by two key processes.
    1. Legislation, both primary and secondary, ie the Thames Conservancy Acts in its various guises and Statutory Instruments such as the Inland Waterways Order 2010.
    2. Treasury Rules. This is a document called Managing Public Money issued as “advice and guidance” (read “do it or else...”) to all government departments.
    Getting either of these constraints changed is a procedural nightmare,, especially given the current turmoil in government/parliament.
    Basically the EA are only allowed to charge for things that are specifically permitted. Charging for craft registration is permitted. Charging for swimming in the river is not permitted because it is not , specifically, permitted.
    Not all money raised from waterway related activity reaches the navigation budget. Income from hydropower and some water company payments for abstraction are examples. Fines for convictions go to the treasury so there is no financial incentive for the EA to prosecute - sound legal principles support this however. Where the EA are able to charge for services such as attendance at events etc they are only permitted to recover actual costs.
    None of these issues were a problem when it was relatively easy for the custodians of the river to obtain grant aid but times have changed and legislation written in a bygone era, and woefully neglected in the interim, is totally inadequate and unfit for present day purpose.
    The key problem is that we need an EA management approach with a can-do attitude - but they, in turn, need the ear of their lords and masters in Defra and government.
    In the meantime they CAN raise income from craft registration so expect more of the same.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Medway
    Posts
    19,656

    Default Re: DEFRA/EA Statement re potential transfer of waterways

    Quote Originally Posted by boatone View Post
    The situation is complex but the EA,s authority to raise income is basically governed by two key processes.
    1. Legislation, both primary and secondary, ie the Thames Conservancy Acts in its various guises and Statutory Instruments such as the Inland Waterways Order 2010.
    2. Treasury Rules. This is a document called Managing Public Money issued as “advice and guidance” (read “do it or else...”) to all government departments.
    Getting either of these constraints changed is a procedural nightmare,, especially given the current turmoil in government/parliament.
    Basically the EA are only allowed to charge for things that are specifically permitted. Charging for craft registration is permitted. Charging for swimming in the river is not permitted because it is not , specifically, permitted.
    Not all money raised from waterway related activity reaches the navigation budget. Income from hydropower and some water company payments for abstraction are examples. Fines for convictions go to the treasury so there is no financial incentive for the EA to prosecute - sound legal principles support this however. Where the EA are able to charge for services such as attendance at events etc they are only permitted to recover actual costs.
    None of these issues were a problem when it was relatively easy for the custodians of the river to obtain grant aid but times have changed and legislation written in a bygone era, and woefully neglected in the interim, is totally inadequate and unfit for present day purpose.
    The key problem is that we need an EA management approach with a can-do attitude - but they, in turn, need the ear of their lords and masters in Defra and government.
    In the meantime they CAN raise income from craft registration so expect more of the same.

    Thanks for that.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Sussex
    Posts
    4,234

    Default Re: DEFRA/EA Statement re potential transfer of waterways

    Quote Originally Posted by oldgit View Post
    Thanks for that.
    Fascinating....
    Well done B1, dunno where we'd be without him...

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Oxfordshire
    Posts
    4,194

    Default Re: DEFRA/EA Statement re potential transfer of waterways

    Quote Originally Posted by boatone View Post
    I am about to leave for a few days downriver and will be able to see for myself what the current situation is regarding moorings, slum boats, etc.
    Shame your not heading upstream as I believe the livaboard issue is now much worse up there.

    The biggest shock for me was the state of Oxford! having not been up there for a few years I knew it wasn't that good but now it is a complete no go zone, something more like a Detroit slum than the city of dreaming spires.

    From just below Iffley all the way to Folly bridge there is literally no where to moor and just a line of decrepid livaboards. The state of Iffley lock was very sad to see, once one of the most attractive and interesting locks on the entire river it is now reduced to an overgrown ruin, the EA should hang their heads in shame.

    We cruised up to Folly bridge and turned around as there was no where to go and headed back down to Abingdon, as we passed under the bypass bridge after Iffley lock there was a distinctive thud on the canopy above my head as one of the locals had gobbed off the bridge at us. Kind of sums the place up
    Last edited by Chris_d; 10-06-19 at 09:24.

  9. #19
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    Apr 2004
    Location
    Sussex
    Posts
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    Default Re: DEFRA/EA Statement re potential transfer of waterways

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_d View Post
    Shame your not heading upstream as I believe the livaboard issue is now much worse up there.

    The biggest shock for me was the state of Oxford! having not been up there for a few years I knew it wasn't that good but now it is a complete no go zone, something more like a Detroit slum than the city of dreaming spires.

    From just below Iffley all the way to Folly bridge there is literally no where to moor and just a line of decrepid livaboards. The state of Iffley lock was very sad to see, once one of the most attractive and interesting locks on the entire river it is now reduced to an overgrown ruin, the EA should hang their heads in shame.

    We cruised up to Folly bridge and turned around as there was no where to go and headed back down to Abingdon, as we passed under the bypass bridge after Iffley lock there was a distinctive thud on the canopy above my head as one of the locals had gobbed off the bridge at us. Kind of sums the place up
    It was ever so. We tend to go upstream to join up with the ditchy bit, and Iffley itself through to Oxford has been solid for several years.

    I don't know whether the lock has a resident, but the garden has been in decline for several years. There are a lot of perennial plants which take some effort to manage and if there's no local interest in looking after it then it runs wild.

    Indeed both you and I can remember the days - not so long ago that ALL of the locks, those which were not concreted over, had smart flowerbeds and were generally kept tidy.

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