The following box of text is from the London Boaters site. It is filled with emotive words that in fact mean very little and is designed to get people on their side where they don’t necessarily have a side to be on. This group of boaters have presumably signed up as Continuous Cruisers. If they haven’t signed the CC declaration then their licence requires them to have a permanent mooring. Either way they have broken their agreement with BW. BW could simply refuse to licence their boats and hoik them out of the water. But no BW are changing the rules so that those that signed the CC agreement are better able to comply with the rules. Lets get this straight BW are not a housing association. They are a statutory body (look it up). BW though, they probably don’t know it, have the same or similar remit to make the rules as any other statuary body, for instance HSE. Broadly speaking the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is the framework law. HSE is part of that law and is responsible for building on to the framework of the Act with out the need to keep going back to parliament. BW, I think, have the same or very similar powers. (If that’s wrong then I wasted £600 of tax payers money when I left the RAF.)
Families living on houseboats near the Olympic Park claim they've become targets for "social cleansing". “They’re trying to increase the distances we have to travel by so much that coupling relocation with the continuation of our lifestyle becomes impossible,” he says. “The rules are extremely draconian and breach the Human Rights Act because, essentially, they’re trying to define where people can live. And they have no legal right to do this.” The boaters, who describe themselves as “gatekeepers of the canal” – believe that whatever BW’s intentions, the measures will inevitably cripple their ability to lead a peaceful life on Hackney’s waterways. “Plans to carve up the moorings into ‘neighbourhoods’ and charge boaters for overstays are being opposed by local river dwellers" “The London boat community in Hackney could soon be history if proposed British Waterways plans are brought into force in advance of the Olympics." 'Houseboat residents near the Olympic development site in east London are accusing British Waterways of an attempt at "social cleansing". They say proposed changes to rules for living on the canals before the 2012 Games could force hundreds of people from their water-based homes ...'
It is to BWs shame that this situation has been allowed to exist. Poor management of the rules is bound to cause people to think they can break the rules with impunity. However BW simply have to formalise, if not already the case, and apply the rules that exist now, not make new ones, and the situation will then come under control.
A while back a London Boater tweeted that he had been on his mooring for 5 years and had just received his first patrol notice which he was going to fight. So that’s 5 years with out paying a mooring fee. (At least £10k probably £15K or more) Were I he, I would say to myself , “OK I have got away with it so far, time to move on,” but no he is going to fight it. BW should present him with a bill for his back mooring fees then see how much fight he has in him.
To London Boaters I would say you have signed up to be CCers so go and CC. Stop complaining that you are no longer allowed to flout the rules. If you cant obey the CC rules due to work school or childcare situation then you are not a CCer.You should have a proper mooring. If you have got away with it this long be grateful move on. The only outcome is one that will be detrimental for all CCers alike both the genuine ones and the not so genuine ones. Its a lose/lose situation. If you lose we all lose. Don’t screw it up for every one else especially those that signed and do abide by the rules as laid down In the Guide for Mooring.
I am sure you understand The Guide for Mooring that is the paper with the rules on and you signed to say you would follow them rules. Yes you can be a pain in the arse and cause BW to waste money taking you to court but wouldn’t it be better to let BW spend that money repairing the system for all to enjoy rather than pushing your luck and ending up with parts of the system closed due to lack of maintenance. I suppose you don’t care if they close canals, you are after all River Dwellers.
Finally I do resent you calling yourselves ‘London’ Boaters. You are boaters just like all of us. We all need to be treated the same. If you try to cut yourself off as being different to other boaters BW will use that against you. Who would blame them. And as for being Gate Keepers of the Canal that's like a cat calling a fur ball an air filter.