Category Archives: Events

Past Event; Forage for Facilities

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In protest, the National Bargee Traveller Association London (NBTAL) organised a ‘Forage for Facilities’ event today to highlight the shortage of water, waste and rubbish disposal points on the London canals.

There were 8 boats in total, with about 40 attendees. The event took place in West London today starting at Old Oak common and involved an expedition of boats, decked out in banners and bunting, hunting the elusive facilities that have been promised by CRT since 2013. The flotilla travelled for five hours, with no facilities in sight. Between Little Venice and Bull’s Bridge there is only one water point for boaters without a home mooring to access.

A recent report by a group formed by CRT and some London boaters called the Better Relationships Group, has found that 4,000 boats, or approximately 8,000 boaters, are sharing 15 working taps and five toilet and rubbish points in the greater London area.

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A spokesperson for the NBTA London said:
“After travelling five hours we didn’t find any water points, rubbish disposal facilities or anywhere to empty our toilets. The lack of facilities in this area means that we are unable to fulfill our basic needs without travelling unreasonable distances.

This forces us to live in a way that is comparable to living conditions in third world countries. With CRT’s new draconian demands to travel a minimum distance per year, boaters are being forced to inhabit places that are thoroughly lacking in facilities.
Overall there is a general lack of facilities at a time when there are more boaters, who are paying more money to CRT and seeing no response to demand in return.”

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Towpath Gathering aims to protect and celebrate London boating community

Towpath Gathering aims to protect and celebrate London itinerant boating community

In the face of increasing pressure on the London towpath boating community, the London National Bargee Traveller Association (LNBTA) are holding a Towpath Gathering by the Regents Canal in East London’s Victoria Park on Sunday 19th April from 12pm.

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The Towpath Gathering will both raise awareness about the threats to the London boating community and celebrate the diverse and vibrant London towpath life. It will also bring together local communities in a fun, family friendly day that gives people the opportunity to take part in creative activities as well as talk to boaters about their way of life.

This is both an open air meeting and event that celebrates the boating community; giving people an insight into this community. Music, performance and talks will be provided by boaters themselves along with a floating marketplace featuring local trade-boats for people to step on the water and experience life aboard.

The event will have floating stages and stalls with music, poetry, arts and crafts, and will also be an opportunity for boaters, supporters and local residents to meet and discuss the Canal and River Trust’s draconian new enforcement policy and the refusal of full licences for boaters it deems “not to have moved far enough”.

A spokesperson for the LNBTA said:

“As legitimate and licenced boaters who live on their boats by the towpath, our way of life is currently being threatened as the Canal & River Trust have plans to impose draconian new changes to their enforcement policy. Under the new scheme boaters who are arbitrarily deemed by CRT to be “not moving far enough” are refused one year licenses and instead put on a costlier three or six month trial license unless they comply with new rules about moving within a range of “further than” 15 to 20 miles in the course of a year.”

“These new demands and enforcement process go beyond the CRT’s legal powers which are set out in the legislation. The British Waterways Act states that boats must move each 14 days but does not impose any distance or pattern. In forcing these new rules the CRT are attempting to extend the scope of their legal powers and establish a new precedent.”

“The fears are that the distance enforced on could be increased incrementally and threaten the viability of itinerant boaters who live by the towpath yet need to stay within the London area for work, school, college or family and caring commitments.”

– ENDS –

Notes to editors:

Event: The Towpath Gathering.

Date/time: 12pm Sunday 19th April 2015.

Location: Towpath near Canal gate entrance to Victoria park

If you wish to cover the event, or if you would like to be sent high resolution photographs and a release with quotes and comments after it has happened then see below for contact details:

Contact Details:

The London National Bargee Travellers Association (LNBTA)

General info: nbtalondon@gmail.com

For further info on the new licence and enforcement policy, check out the London NBTA fact and advice sheet  on:

https://nbtalondon.wordpress.com/2015/03/23/fact-and-advice-sheet-regarding-enforcement/

The National Bargee Travellers Association (NBTA)

A volunteer organisation formed in 2009 that campaigns and provides advice for itinerant boat dwellers on Britain’s inland and coastal waterways. This includes anyone whose home is a boat and who does not have a permanent mooring for their boat with planning permission for residential use.

NBTA General Meeting

This meeting is to decide what the NBTA does in general.

This will be on the Saturday 21 November at the Quaker Meeting House, 150 Church Rd, Watford WD17 4QB (near Watford
Junction Station). Registration starts at 9.30am, the General Meeting ends at 6pm. There are going to be breaks in-between, including lunch .

If you would like to come to the General Meeting, please book a place as soon as possible by emailing secretariat@bargee- traveller.org.uk or phoning 0118 321 4128. We need to keep the venue informed of the numbers so please let us know in advance if you wish to attend.

Further travel directions etc. will be sent out on booking.

Towpath Gathering – Victoria Park 19th April

Towpath Gathering – Sunday 19th April – 12 noon
Canal Gate, Victoria Park (Western-most entrance)IMGP6550

An open air meeting and celebration of the boat community. There will be music and speeches from the boater community, alongside trade boats, bunting, banners, balloons and placards… and much more.

This is during a time when the Canal & River Trust (CRT) plans to refuse full licences to lawful boaters who “don’t move far enough”.

Along with refusing licences, CRT plan to issue some boats with a more expensive and shorter 6-month licence, on the condition that CRT will only give full licences once the boater changes their ways.

For one reason or another many of us move around various parts of London, and that is our right. But CRT plans to set requirements that go beyond the British Waterways Act 1995. This Act clearly states how often boats should move, but does not state any minimum distance that we have to travel nor follow any specific cruising pattern beyond the stated 14 day limit.

We must not allow CRT to debilitate our community. Please show your support at the Towpath Gathering.

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Legal Rights Meeting

Following the success of the last Legal Meeting held late 2014. There will be further opportunity to know your legal rights on:

Thursday 26th February 2015

Unsure about your legal rights as a boater? Want to find out what the recent introduction of neighbourhood maps and minimum travelling distances could mean for you?

Boaters without a home mooring, especially those new to the water, need to understand their legal rights, and how these may differ from Canal and River Trust (CRT) guidance. At a time when CRT is increasing enforcement – and pushing new guidance in terms of maps and minimum travel distances – we all need to get knowledgable about what we should do if we receive a warning letter or are threatened with legal action.

The National Bargee Travellers Association (NBTA) has a wealth of knowledge to share on these issues, built up over many years advising boat dwellers and working directly with legal representatives. Click below to join us for a briefing in London on Thursday 6th November where you can learn about your legal rights and what to do if you encounter CRT enforcement, and put your questions direct to NBTA’s experts.

Legal & General Meeting (Mark 2) is here, book free here:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/meeting-legal-general-ii-tickets-15425159066

***THIS SATURDAY JOIN THE BOATERS BLOC!!***

Nbta London's photo.

Everywhere you go in London redevelopments are happening making the housing needs for people harder.

The waterways are not excluded from this. Around Central London there is pressure to move out boaters so that property prices are not negatively effected. However, we need more mooring rings.

The whole of the navigable waters of the Bow Back Rivers was taken from us for the Olympics. Now it is only open to some trip boats and with plans to turn it into just 24 hours moorings. This should be open again to all with 14 days moorings.

There has been great reduction of facilities across the waterways. In time where there is more boats, we need more facilities. Places like West London are lacking facilities. We demand more facilities now.

Let’s march on the City and alongside other housing campaigns let our demand be heard

More Mooring Spaces
Open the Bow Back Rivers
More Facilities

Saturday 31 January at 12 noon
St Mary’s Churchyard, Newington Butts, SE1 6SQ (Elephant and Castle tube/rail)
NBTA banner and boaters will be at the corner of St Mary’s Butts and Gun Street

***This SATURDAY join the BOATERS BLOC***

Nbta London's photo.

Everywhere you go in London redevelopments are happening making the housing needs for people harder.

The waterways are not excluded from this. Around Central London there is pressure to move out boaters so that property prices are not negatively effected. However, we need more mooring rings.

The whole of the navigable waters of the Bow Back Rivers was taken from us for the Olympics. Now it is only open to some trip boats and with plans to turn it into just 24 hours moorings. This should be open again to all with 14 days moorings.

There has been great reduction of facilities across the waterways. In time where there is more boats, we need more facilities. Places like West London are lacking facilities. We demand more facilities now.

Let’s march on the City and alongside other housing campaigns let our demand be heard

More Mooring Spaces
Open the Bow Back Rivers
More Facilities

Saturday 31 January at 12 noon
St Mary’s Churchyard, Newington Butts, SE1 6SQ (Elephant and Castle tube/rail)
NBTA banner and boaters will be at the corner of St Mary’s Butts and Gun Street

‘Hands Off Our Homes’ NBTA London public meeting

NBTA London; ‘Hands Off Our Homes’ public meeting

Date: Thursday 22 January at 7pm

Where: London Action Resource Centre, 62, Fieldgale Street, E1 1ES

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The Canal and Rivers Trust (CRT) is on a mission to make the lives of liveaboards with no homes moorings harder.

They have been meeting with boaters’ groups to try to get an agreement to a defined place and minimum distance that continuous cruisers must travel to comply with the guidance. This – with the lack of mooring rings and facilities – puts us on a path towards the destruction of our way of life. We must stop the CRT in making our lives harder. We need more mooring rings, more facilities and no more increase of mooring restrictions.

The National Bargee Travellers Association London is hosting a public meeting about the attacks on boater dwellers and discussion about what we should do about it. We have also invited some speakers from the wider housing movement so we can get ideas about what can be done to defend our homes.

All are welcome.

Get a ticket; http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/hands-off-our-homes-tickets-13484136415

CRT Hands Off Our Homes! Public Meeting, 22nd January 2015, London

The Canal & River Trust (CRT) is on a mission to make the lives of live-aboards without home moorings harder. CRT has been meeting with some boaters’ groups to try to get an agreement to an unlawful definition of “place” and an unlawful minimum distance that continuous cruisers should travel to comply with Section 17 (3)(c)(ii) of the British Waterways Act 1995. This, together with recently concreted towpaths without mooring rings that are impossible to moor boats on, and the lack of facilities like water taps, threatens our homes. We must stop CRT making our lives harder. We need more mooring rings, more facilities and no further mooring restrictions.

The National Bargee Travellers Association London is hosting a public meeting about these attacks on boat dwellers and discussion about what we can do about it. We have also invited some speakers from the wider housing movement so we can get ideas about what can be done to defend our homes. Join us at this campaign meeting to plan what action to take.

Legal Rights Meeting 6th November 2014

For a number of reasons, the legal rights meeting planned for tonight is severely oversubscribed.  We have been overwhelmed by the response and if everyone who has booked turns up, it will simply not be possible for everybody to get in.

However, we are doing everything we can to make sure that we get the information to as many people as possible.  We are planning a second meeting for the new year, in a much bigger venue.  Also, we are going to broadcast the meeting on Ustream for anybody who cannot make it.  This will also be available online after the meeting.

The meeting is scheduled to start at 7pm.   To watch the live broadcast, go to http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nbtalondon