Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Is Canal and River Trust a 'housing authority'?

It is to say the least ironic that many of those presently living on boats owe their 'right' to do so to the same person that many of them (with more than a little good cause) saw as their principle persecutor in recent times! The start of the 'trouble' was one of Sally Ash's first decisions when she was put in charge of boating, to remove the general Licence requirement not to use your boat as a dwelling. That in effect gave blanket permission to all licence holders to live on their boats; Unsurprisingly many have taken up the offer.

When we get into the nitty gritty of residential boating issues, the 'excuse' for in-action frequently wheeled out by BW (and which CRT seem to have adopted), is: 'We are not a housing authority'. The problem is that by waiving one of the byelaws twenty years ago Sally Ash made you so!

It seems to me that many of the subsequent disputes between BW and now CRT and boaters have flowed from that and from Sally's and others' attempts to get that cat back in the bag.