CRT promise more bogs and taps after Forage For Facilities follow up lobbying meeting

Date: Wednesday 7th October 2015

Present Sam Thomas/Canal and River Trust (CRT), Helen Brice/Mike Doherty National Bargee Traveller Association London (BTAL)

Following the National Bargee Travellers Association London (NBTAL) Forage for Facilities event, a meeting was arranged with Canal River Trust to press for more facilities. Before this meeting, the NBTAL also pressed for CRT to meet with boaters at a public event, arranged and promoted AND hosted by the NBTAL, to listen to boater ideas and negotiate solutions. CRT need to address the appalling lack of facilities for London’s 4,000 licence paying boats and  The National Bargee Traveller Association London will be canvassing members and other boaters for ideas for where to put more facilities in the next financial year. These ideas will be presented at the public NBTAL meeting with CRT in December. A spokesperson for the NBTAL said: “Its a public meeting at the funky boater run Save the Date Café in Dalston, details to follow soon. It will be about more bogs, elsans, taps and pump be there or forever hold your stool.”

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Meeting notes

  • NBTAL Public meeting on facilities agreed with Sowar and Sam from CRT presenting CRT plans for more facilities in this financial year and the next. Date is Wednesday 9th at Save the Date Cafe in Dalston, seating 50-60 standing 100-200. Food will be served plus bar AFTER the event. NBTAL to promote.
  • Running order – NBTAL speaker followed by Sam presentation followed by Q and A chaired by Helen Brice.
  • This is a meeting on facilities and maintenance and will be chaired as such – we will be pushing for a public meeting on enforcement with next if that is what the NBTAL decides.
  • Old Ford Lock toilet will be open within three weeks. Plus rubber round elsan lid to stop banging. NBTAL signs asking boaters to be careful what to put in them. NBTAL members to keep an eye out for vandalism.
  • Showers at Stonebridge. CRT spent £10,000 on vandelised facilities. Stonebrifdge will be fixed are not being removed but problems with rough sleepers using them and chronic vandalism so if vandalism continues they will think again. NBTAL suggested Cafe be part of monitoring plus local boaters.

CRT- this financial year (ends march 2016) they have these facilities planned to be built– no more budget for this year:

  • 4 extra water taps – Ponders End, Lee Bridge Weir, Slough Basin, Southall Bankside
  • 2 extra bin points –Southall bankside, Alperton at the pub. NBTAL to promote pub as a good place to have a beer for Landlord agreeing to host bins once bins are in place.
  • One pump below Sturts Lock plus elsan and water tap to replace promised one for Bluebell moorings.
  • Money for more mooring rings. How much? Depends. Suggested Haggerston big empty strip. Problem with school opposite but will look into it.
  • New Eastwick Permanant Moorings on River Lea (near Olympics) – the facilities (pump out/elsan and water tap) will be available and live soon).
  • Looking into more ways to sell pump out cards boater’s ideas welcomed. Cafe Stonebridge?
  • Oil disposal planned this financial year.

Next financial year? Broxbourne? Open to offers. Kensal Green? Sainsburies stonewalling otherwise CRT would be willing to put bins and tap maybe elsan there. How about boater’s campaign to ‘persuade’ Sainsburies to relent? Go ahead.

What about regular runs by a CRT boat to collect refits and big items? Possible but a lot of canal to cover. More like regular disposal spots for collection so don’t clog up waste bins.

NBTAL – What about bringing the disused dry dock at Bulls Bridge back into use as a low cost DIY spot for boaters? Sam – Good idea – there is one in Wigan and that works. Sam to look into that.



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