Canal and River Trust (CRT) put a on meeting to involve local authorities in the waterways in London.
The National Bargee Travellers Association London (NBTA London) made sure we were invited. CRT allowed two delegates from the NBTA London.
We send two of us to join the 23 councillors from 13 Local Authorities; 2 representatives from the Old Oak Park Royal Development Trust; the Chair and Deputy from the IWA; 1 from the Residential Boat Owners Association (RBOA); and 11 from CRT including Richard Parry, Jon Guest, Sorwar Ahmed and Matthew Symonds.
The format was – presentation by CRT, Questions/Comments form the floor.
Their presentation was mainly about how ‘good’ property developments are to the waterways in London and the ‘greatness’ of social enterprise in bringing ‘valve’ to the waterways.
The Kings Cross development was held up as a ‘model example’ of property developers ‘working in partnership with the waterways’. This was despite the fact that the Kings Cross development meant lost of more than half the mooring spaces there, the lost of a water point and no new facilities.
One of the NBTA London delegate stated that the Kings Cross development should not be use as a model example, a model example would included no lost to mooring spaces and the introduction of new facilities. CRT didn’t voice any disagreements over what NBTA London delegate said.
For the example of social enterprise, CRT talked about the adoption of the Limehouse Cut lead by Poplar Harca Housing. Which until we talked to them had no knowledge of people that live on the canal without home mooring. They had thought that the only people that live on the canal live in home moorings.
CRT also talked briefly about that Housing and Planning Act 2016 means councils must assess the needs of boat dwellers using waterways which go through their area. CRT stated that the all their results of their survey will be out soon. We included that the NBTA London has a survey which asks more about the needs of boat dwellers.
Which we are still running. If you haven’t filled it out yet please fill it out. Here it is; https://marcus122.typeform.com/to/SrAhJi
CRT also put out the idea that they might make a mooring place at Little Venice one of those chargeable bookable moorings they have been talking about. But they are not sure where exactly if they will put them there, it probably depends on the resistant to it.
The main reason for the NBTA London went to this meeting was to collect Local Authorities contacts so we can meet with them to discuss their assessment of boat dwellers in future meetings between us and them. We got a reasonable amount of council contacts from this meeting. Our plan is to get Local Authorities and CRT to work together to give us more facilities and mooring rings etc.
Second Half was organised into discussion groups. NBTA London delegates were in two different groups.
Most non-boaters – particularly residents and local councillors were thinking that “residential moorings” meant any moorings where live-aboard itinerant boaters stop or that they didn’t know that boat dwellers exist. So some educating on boat dwellers without a home mooring was called for. Evidently, the Local Authorities members which both delegates talked to were supportive of the NBTA London cause. Afterwards they voiced a much better understanding of our lifestyle and needs – and what we mean by “facilities”.
Overall, we thought it was a worthwhile meeting for us.