Navigation Consultation Response to Middle Level Commissioners

Middle Level Commissioners Proposals for Amended Navigation Legislation
Consultation response on behalf of the Residential Boat Owners’ Association.
The Residential Boat Owners’ Association (RBOA) is the primary national organisation representing all those who choose to live on boats on the canal, rivers and coastal estuaries of England and Wales. The RBOA is consulted with extensively by national and local government, navigation authorities and commercial organisations on all matters related to residential boating
The RBOA is fully aware of the previous initiative by the Middle Level Commissioners to gain powers to raise funds to provide services and to regulate and control boating activity broadly in line with other navigation authorities. RBOA generally supported these when they were presented in 2004 and is aware of further negotiations on outstanding matters. Taking these into account the RBOA supports the draft Order and Bylaws presented in the 2016 consultation.
Regarding your comment “to enter into arrangements with other navigation authorities regarding such matters of mutual recognition,” RBOA supports reciprocal arrangements with other navigation authorities, which will encourage boaters to freely cruise the overall waterways system.
RBOA has one outstanding issue regarding the statement;
“We propose in this consultation that the primary provisions contained in such revising legislation would be and have effect: to confer greater waterways management powers on the Commissioners…”
If this includes enforcement powers, we would expect some arbitration process to be included as this is the norm with other authorities.
The RBOA has no further comments to make at this stage but reiterates that, as the primary national organisation representing residential boaters, we expect to be consulted over any specific powers or initiatives related to residential boating or moorings, which the Middle Level Commissioners may consider in the future. The RBOA is always prepared to provide advice on these matters.
Ivor Caplan
Planning Officer
For Residential Boat Owners’ Association
29th June 2016