Meeting with CRT to get more facilities

Here are the minutes from meeting we had with CRT to get more facilities;

NBTA-L and CRT Facilities Meeting

Friday 28 April 2017

Present: NBTA-L – Marcus Trower (MT), Helen Delmar (HD), Helen Brice (HB); CRT – Matthew Symonds (MS), Sorwar Ahmed (SA), Sam Thomas (ST), Gareth, Alexander Gudmestad (AG)


MT presented NBTAL thoughts on facilities explaining that it was mainly east London and River Lee that warranted most attention according to our NBTAL boaters survey.

1)Ponders End Lock(First highest after by Waltham Cross)

Where there is a waterpoint connected, it makes sense to install bins, pumpout, Elsan, possible loo lock. – Looks feasible speaking with contracts about access

ST said he would do a Service Search (Leeds) but this will take at least 28 days; and talk to existing staff who’ve worked in the area for 25 yrs. – Not required

NBTAL suggested bottom of ramp; Biffa to research, as it depends on the gradiant of ramp.


River Stort/Lee

NBTAL suggested that at Rye House, bins were put on towpath side. Also pumpout,  elsan and tap, adding that it’s a good place as it’s a junction. – Beginning dialogue with the Speedway about access- rubbish disposal only a real possibility at  present

Fieldes Weir

(EXISTING Elsan, EXISTING tap, SIGNAGE needed for new bins at Rye House)


NBTAL suggested Elsan at Coppermill. ST thought that the buildings have septic tanks – ST to do a service search. – Not completed yet

ST pointed out that Hillingdon Marina pumpout is open to public.

4) Bulls Bridge

NBTAL suggested Pumpout, Elsan& Bin

it’s a good place as it’s a junction and next to tap and recycling box


5) Springwell

NBTAL suggested Water point


6) Denham

NBTAL suggested Rubbish Bins


CRT didn’t disagree when any of NBTAL’s proposals,they seem to think they were good ideas. CRT will be doing service searches on the areas NBTAL to see the practically of putting facilities in there.

CRT said that business case will need to be made for new facilities. MS confirmed that he will be submitting business case to support the implementation of the LMS, as it is on of the Trust’s strategic projects he anticipates that there will be funding to support implementation.

We asked if it was possible for trained and insured boater trade persons get do some of the work as we believe they will do a cheaper/ better job than others. Yes CRT said the Trust is very happy to explore working with boaters to undertake smaller jobs. SA suggested boater tradesmen could be in the future linked to an adoption for a “small” job. ‘Small’ jobs being less than 20k


SA reported that King’s Cross development of St Pancras Cruising Club provides a pumpout and is having their pumpout upgraded.

ST asked whether at Springwell a Biffa bin could be brought through the car park

CRT produced maps that were colour coded red, amber and green showing the frequency of facilites

NBTA-L requested that we make red parts amber and amber fewer as a priority.

MS asked, what about improving existing over-capacitated facilities . NBTAL said we’ll come back on this, as well as mooring rings.

Sawbridgeworth could be looked into for more facilities.

AG mentioned that CRT’s Rick Jones is in talks with council (Enfield office).

AG suggested bookable places for fit out waste.

ST announced that CRT are removing 30% (40 bins) of bins across the network. If there are 3 bins in 1/2km, then 1 bin will be removed. ST said he will send research on this to NBTAL. ST said that the excess bins will go in to storage and the money CRT save will go in to other kinds of waste disposal.

ST stated that CRT can put a pump in to increase water pressure and that they would bear this in mind for new installations.

NBTA asked about Victoria Park Lock security – ST to send detail of the building so that NBTAL can look at the what can be done to involve security.

ST stated that an Elsan will be installed at Norwood Top Lock this financial year.

AG talked about The Lee Rowing Club with regards a request by the Club of easing navigation, e.g. Widebeam and a rowing boat to pass at same time. AG spoke of “pinch points”. MT asked for facts. Also put in moorings where there might have to be single moorings. SA will look at this in the overall strategy.

CRT plans to get rid of 30% of litter bins

In a recent meeting between Canal & River Trust (CRT) and the National Bargee Travellers Association (NBTA) London branch, CRT stated that they have a national plan to remove 30% of litter bins from the towpaths in order to reduce litter. They plan to keep them in storage and only reinstate them if litter continues to be a problem.

bin full

Sam Thomas, CRT’s London Customer Operations Manager, said that “there is equal evidence for and against having less bins”. To date, he hasn’t been able to share this evidence. When replying to anti-litter campaign group, keep Britain Tidy, CRT blamed the “mistreatment” of bins as a reason to remove them:

“In London, a number of litter bins along the towpath were being mistreated and were being used by people to fly tip… This means the bins in question were overflowing… people walking along the towpath will have to carry their litter a little further to put it in a bin, or maybe even take it home…”.

However, the plan to remove 30% of litter bins is a national policy, not just a London policy. It’s hard to argue that the “mistreatment” of litter bins in London is a good reason to take away bins nationally. Yet, CRT has already started removing litter bins. Two bins were removed in Cheshunt (Hertfordshire), one of which was next to the permanent ice cream boat.

Another bin has been taken from a busy picnic area in Hackney (East London).

cheshunt bin take

Keep Britain Tidy rightly called the move by CRT “concerning”.


It is already a struggle to find litter bins on the towpath, particularly in west London, yet there’s never a shortage of litter. So it would be interesting to see what evidence CRT has to support their view that less bins equals less litter. Many have suggested that emptying the bins more often would solve any “overflowing” issues, yet when questioned about the frequency at which bins are emptied, CRT’s vague response stated “some daily, some weekly, some depend on season”. This is simply not good enough – perhaps they should have a clear policy on emptying bins before they
start removing them.

full in camden

Marcus Trower, the Deputy Chair of the NBTA said:


“When CRT told us about their plans to take away 30% of bins to reduce litter, I thought they were joking. Then to store them and put them back if it doesn’t work, sounds like a kind of dance routine with bins:

You put the bins in,

You take the bins out,

Store them for a bit,

And then put them back again.


This plan must be in CRT’s top 10 list of bad ideas. Think about the money CRT will spend on this dead end plan. If the public have nowhere to put their litter, it will be thrown on the ground, get into the water and end up around our propellers. I hope CRT has a serious rethink”.

over fill bin

Disabled Bargee Travellers – know your rights

Disabled Bargee Travellers – know your rights
If you are pregnant, on maternity, have a mental or physical disability, or are older you are entitled to have adjustments made to enable you to continue to live and own a boat on Britain’s waterways.
This is thanks to the Equality Act 2010 which means that the Canal and River Trust (or any other authority) cannot expect of you to meet their policies and procedures, including guidance in the same way that they would expect someone who did not fit into these characteristics.
For example, this means CRT shouldn’t tell you that you should not be living on a boat because you are disabled, “too old” or pregnant. These rights are in addition to the rights of all boaters without home moorings on CRT waterways to stay in one place longer than 14 days if it is “reasonable in the circumstances”. As a result of campaigning by the National Bargee Travellers Association (NBTA) and other groups, CRT has now adopted a standard procedure for assessing and agreeing adjustments to its enforcement procedure for boaters with disabilities.
Your boat license shouldn’t be terminated following enforcement action as your characteristic puts you at a substantial disadvantage. Don’t panic, you shouldn’t be made homeless if you follow our advice and keep the Canal and River Trust informed in writing.
Direct, combined and indirect discrimination defined by the Equality Act 2010
According to Equality Act 2010, direct discrimination occurs if a person is treated less favourably than others because of one or more of the protected characteristics defined in the Equality Act 2010.
If you are finding it difficult to keep in line with the conditions of your license due to a characteristic outlined in the Equality Act 2010 then this is the help sheet for you.
First off make sure you keep up good written communication and contact your local Boat License Officer (Enforcement Officer) via email.
If you are unable to do this get in touch with our caseworkers and we can speak on your behalf.
London Area;
You may also want to copy in the Welfare Officer:
  • The Canal and River Trust should ask if you require an adjustment however we suggest you do inform them yourself.
  • The Canal should ask if you require an adjustment however we suggest you do inform them yourself.
What is reasonable in the circumstances cannot be defined in advance but if an adjustment is recommended from a GP, physical or psychological assessment, ATOS or supporting benefits document or other such Professional Authority then this should be taken as reasonable.
For example:
Pregnancy might mean you need to be near an area before, during and after birth for trips to visit the midwife. You may also request a period of non-movement after you have given birth.
Chronic illness (which must be on going over a period 12 months or longer) may require treatment, in which case a reduced range can be agreed upon.
Your disability may mean that you are only able to access specific areas, for instance if you find it difficult to open locks due to a physical ailment then a cruising pattern with minimal locks can be agreed upon.
If you are older and require adjustments such as use of a mobility scooter and would need to moor in areas which can accommodate access to you boat such as visitor moorings where you will be entitled to stay for the full 14 days or longer where reasonable in the circumstances.
  • If you need additional help people can support you in this process.
If you feel you are unable to manage your adjustment request someone can speak or organise emails on your behalf this can be a relative, friend or a caseworker. You will need to let the Boat Licensing Support team know whom will be representing you and provide signed form of authority;
I, ____________________________________
of Boat Name:_________________________________________,
Boat Number:___________________,
hereby give authority for members of the National Bargee Travellers Association (NBTA) caseworkers to represent me and act on my behalf with regards to my dealings with the Canal and River Trust (CRT). In regards to these dealings, I hereby give consent for the NBTA Caseworkers Group to the disclosure of my records with CRT.
Dated: ______________________
  • Once you have started the process of requesting a reasonable adjustment you will receive the following email:
To enable us to consider your request, I would be grateful if you could provide in writing, within 28 days of this letter:-
i)             Evidence of your disability in the form of a letter from your GP;
Medical evidence should not just state the condition that you currently have, but give some indication about how this might affect mobility or ability to move your boat.
ii)    A written description from you of how your disability makes it more difficult for you to comply with our Guidance for Boats without a Home Mooring;
Provide a description of your condition and how this limits your ability to have a movement pattern that we would normally expect of a continuous cruiser, as well as detailing how the adjustment you are requesting would improve your situation/ or how it would help.
iii)           Confirmation of the adjustment that you are requesting the Trust to make.
Be specific about the adjustment you are looking for. 
For example you may want us to consider an adjustment to your cruising pattern to enable you to attend treatment at a particular hospital.  It would also be useful if you could give an indication of how long you believe that you would need the adjustment for.
The team will then review your requests for adjustment and reply with their conclusions regarding your requested adjustments.
Remember you know yourself and your capability best and should you be unhappy with the adjustments the Boat Licensing Support are prepared to make then you will need to raise a complaint and which point be sure to copy the Welfare Officer in.
Please refer to CRT complaints procedure help sheet for further advice and guidance which is to be found on our website:
Or you can contact our case workers for further help and advice:
or call us on 07459354163

Housing Benefits for boats (helpsheet)

Housing Benefits
1.You will need to contact the Canal and River Trust if you are facing hardship or difficult making payments of your license, otherwise it is not essential for you to inform them of your use of housing benefits to pay for your license.
Remember, to obtain a license remember that you will need a Boat Safety Certificate and appropriate insurance to be legally entitled to a license.
2.Contact your local council authority, there is as of yet no online way of applying for Housing Benefits as a boater. This will mean you will need to organise an appointment with someone in the correct department.
London Boroughs:


  • Housing Benefits: London Boroughs on the canal:

Grand Union

Hillingdon, Hayes, Ealing, Brent, Hammersmith and Fullham, Kensignton and Chelsea, Westminster

Regents Canal

Camden, Isligton, Hackney, Tower Hamlets

Limehouse Cut

Tower Hamlets, Newham

River Lea

Newham, Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Waltham Forest, Haringey, Enfield

3. Once you have an appointment you will need to take some supporting evidence including information regarding the payment of your license this can be a break down of monthly payments for you license, you can print out the license fees for Private Leisure Boats from the Canal and River Trust website or contact them by phone to have something sent to you in the post.
In the past boaters have also gotten their Boat Safety and insurance covered in the cost of you Housing Benefits. If you wish to have these covered as well you must evidence the monthly costings of this with a paper document. You will also need to inform them that you will be remaining in their borough, if they do not think you will be travelling in your borough they may use that as grounds to refuse you housing benefits.
To reinforce your right to claim housing benefits you will also need to quote:
Statutory Instrument 2007 no 2870 Housing Benefit (Local Housing Allowance, Miscellaneous and Consequential) Amendment Regulations states at Regulation 12 that rent includes
“Rent 12(1) ….
(d) payments in respect of, or in consequence of, use and occupation of the dwelling ….
(f) mooring charges payable for a houseboat….”
This entitles you by law to have your license paid for through housing benefits.
Remember you will need a care of address also, but this doesn’t have to be in the borough you apply for the housing benefits.
You will also need to ensure you take a paper copy of your completed application, any references of application, contact details and a full name of the officer you had your appointment with.
Need help
You can appointment someone to communication on your behalf with regards to your benefits request by printing and signing a Form of Authority:
Claimants name:

Claimants Address:


I/We hereby authorise the Benefit Service to disclose information regarding my claim to:


Claimant’s signature: Relationship to Claimant:
Contact number: 

If you are in need to housing benefits immediately and under threat of homelessness you will need to speed along your housing benefits and also get them back dated, but you can only do this by one month previous to the date of application.
To speed up your application you will need to let them know you are at risk of becoming homeless and request that your application be expedited, we advise at which point you seek further advise from our caseworkers by contacting us on: 0797429858 or email us on

Refusal of Housing Benefits
If you apply for Housing Benefit and your application is refused, you should appeal quoting the bellow information including the SSCSA Tribunal cases. There is a 28-day limit for appealing against a refusal of Housing Benefit.
In the cases below in which appeals were decided by the Social Security and Child Support Commissioners, the Commissioners decided that Housing Benefit was payable for the boat licence fee under (d) above, in some cases together with the mooring fee.
In CH 0318 2005, the boater did not have a mooring and was continuously cruising. He stated that he was in breach of his licence conditions but the Commissioners found that irrelevant. The important point is that for the majority of the time his home was within the local authority’s area.
In CH 4250 2006, the boater was awarded Housing Benefit even though he did not have planning permission to live on the mooring and this included benefit for a period when his mooring agreement had been terminated but he was still occupying the mooring as a trespasser and BW charged him for that period. If he had been a trespasser and BW had not demanded mooring fees for the time he was trespassing, obviously Housing Benefit would not have been payable for that period. This, incidentally establishes the principle that Planning Permission is not required in order to obtain Housing Benefit.
CH 0844 2002 established the principle that the boat licence fee qualified under (d) but the boater also claimed for the mooring fee in that particular case as he had a mooring.