Not all one way

Published: Thursday, 02 December 2010

HERE is the tale of a 'continuous cruiser' that has complained to his local MP claiming 'victimisation' and 'harassment' by one of BW's Enforcement Officers, writes Ralph Freeman.

Unfortunately, the skipper of the said boat overlooked the fact that he was moored on a stretch of canal that I know very well, and as such knew what he had been up to for the last few years. Yet he still chose to bend my ear with his 'tale of woe' and then proceeded to explain how he had 'sorted' BW!

Bridge hopper

The skipper in question had 'bridge hopped' from Shobnall Basin to Branston for many years, and recently decided to stay permanently along the stretch of the Trent & Mersey Canal below Dallow Lock. The local Enforcement Officer had picked up on this and issued a number of warnings regarding his breach of licence conditions.

Not only was he therefore a 'continuous moorer', but he admitted he had no Boat Safety Certificate or licence (so presumably no insurance either). His excuse regarding the latter was he couldn't afford it, despite having a full time job in Burton on Trent (hence the lack of movement). I had chance to ask him where ashore could he live 'rent free' and pay no council tax? No reply was forthcoming.

Been patient

I know in this case BW has been much more patient than a private landlord would have been with a rent defaulter, and the same goes for the local council in respect of unpaid council tax. It is folk like the one above that give liveaboard boaters a bad name and make life more difficult for genuine continuous cruisers. Mud sticks!

Ralph Freeman