Restricted licence holders can now vote

Published: Wednesday, 12 February 2020

THE Canal & River Trust has relented from its decision to bar boaters on restricted six months licences from voting in its 2020 council  election.

This follows a complaint by the National Bargee Travellers Association (NBTA) though the Trust is not extending the election to accomodate, which means everyone needs to vote before midnight this Friday, 14th February.

The NBTA is advising anyone affected to check their postal address and/or email as soon as possible for instructions on how to vote.

'Happy to extend invitation'

Tom Deards, CaRT's Head of Legal and Governance Services, stated on 4th February:

"Inn recognition of the fact that we did allow those boaters with restricted licences to vote in the 2015 elections, we are happy to extend the invitation on this occasion and we will be sending out voting instructions to all relevant licence holders in the next few days to enable them to vote prior to the deadline."

However, CaRT has refused to apologise for disenfranchising boaters on restricted licences, and claimed in its response to the complaint that there had been no breach of CaRT's constitutional documents or due processes.

This is despite the fact that in the 2015 CaRT council elections, Chief Executive Richard Parry assured the NBTA that boaters on restricted licences would be able to vote, and the then Head of Governance Roger Hanbury apologised and extended the election in November 2015 to include them.