Confirmation of Section 21 (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8) of Waterways Act 1995 is either active or dormant

David Hawkins made this Freedom of Information request to Canal & River Trust

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Canal & River Trust did not have the information requested.

Dear Canal & River Trust,
I have made a number of requests for information on this specific part of the 1995 Act I have yet to receive a truthful statement.
Trading Standards require customers to have unambiguous rules. The published section 21 of the 1995 Waterways Act clearly states in (7) that failure to agree arbitration must be undertaken....
When I stated this initially a senior manager (name withheld)stated this act only referred to rivers and riparian use for BW to gain access over private rivers; it was also stated by Ombudsman and CEO Mr Robin Evans also quoted it's use for rivers only. These replies to me are documented.
After another FoI Ms Young stated to me that legal dept declared this act had not been ratified so therefore did not exist. I have no confirmation other than an e-mail from Ms Young.
What information exists on this act and if it is not ratified I require confirmation from legal dept in writing and signed, also confirmation from those who stated it referred to rivers only and they were lying or misinformed.

Yours faithfully,

David Hawkins

Information Request, Canal & River Trust

Dear Mr Hawkins,
My colleague Sarina Young responds to information requests on behalf of the company. We have nothing further to add to the original response to this request for information.
Yours sincerely

Kelly Radley
Internal Communications & Customer Services Manager
Direct line: 01908 351858 (internal DDI: 1058)
[mobile number]

Please visit our website to find out more about the Canal & River Trust and download our ‘Shaping our Future document' on the About Us page.

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Dear Information Request,
Thank you for your reply,however whatever Ms Young does or not has no bearing on the information I have asked for. Section 21 of Waterways Act 1995 clearly states in section 7
(7) Any dispute between the Board and any applicant for, or person named in, a certificate as responsible for the structure respecting a failure or refusal by the Board to grant or renew a certificate or respecting a decision by the Board to revoke a certificate shall be determined by arbitration.
This is a published rule and covers both canals and rivers it is deemed to be in full active force unless you have other factual details.
Await your reply.

Yours sincerely,

David Hawkins

Dear Information Request,
Under Corporate Trading Standards you are under an obligation to conduct business in accordance with rules and regulations that are themselves easily understood by customers.
I am not at all sure how the section 21 of the 1995 Waterways Act works, I would therefore require clarification of what is and what is not included.
I have been given statements from a senior manager and BW CEO that these sections of the act only relate to Rivers and riparian rights; I have the actual act that states all parts of this act are relevant to and inclusive of both canals and rivers: I have unsubstantiated word that this part of the act has not been adopted. Clearly there is some confusion all I am asking for is clarification, obviously it seems to be difficult for you to ascertain the real meaning so how can a simple customer??
Please advise

Yours sincerely,

David Hawkins

Information Request, Canal & River Trust

2 Attachments

  • Attachment

    RE Freedom Of Information on and about 1995 BW act section 21.html

    13K Download

  • Attachment

    RE Freedom Of Information on and about 1995 BW act section 21 ammendment.html

    20K Download

Mr Hawkins,

Please see our previous correspondence on this matter, attached for your convenience.

Kind regards,

Sarina Young
Customer Service Co-Ordinator
Canal & River Trust | The Kiln | Mather Road | Newark | NG24 1FB | Tel 01636 675 740 | [mobile number]
Follow the Canal & River Trust’s Customer Service team on Twitter http://twitter.com/CRTContactUs
Please visit our website to find out more about the Canal & River Trust and download our ‘Shaping our Future’ document on the About Us page.

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Dear Information Request,
Thank you for your reply, however just sending me copies of e-mails previously sent are not substantive enough. Ms Young is not a legal authority at BW and does not outrank a statement made by Chief Executive Officer Mr Evans. Both Mr Evans and A.N.Other manager made statements that made it quite clear to me that this Act was in fact in force and used but restricted to Riparian River use, and therefore under this 1995 Act would be in force for Canals and Rivers.
You have merely repeated an uncorroborated e-mail from customer services, plus the fact that in a previous complaint with Waterways Ombudsman Office they also quoted Riparian use.
If you have proof positive then show it or possibly asking CEO to confirm he was mistaken in his twice quoted statement, may add sufficient weight to this change of rules. It surely does no credit to published Waterways Acts that some 17 years after it's publication a whole section added for some good reason has yet to be ratified. Trading standards are not too happy with confused customers.

Yours sincerely,

David Hawkins

Nigel Moore left an annotation ()

Dear Mr Hawkins

I have only just received notification of your series of communications regarding your situation and the relevance of the British Waterways Act of 1995 [specifically Section 21].

You are understandably confused, as is the less justified Ombudsman – but be reassured that there is every chance that your position [as I understand?] as a riparian owner is in fact well protected by the 1995 Act, You have concentrated on the Section 21 sub-section (7) relating to arbitration, but this is quite unnecessary and irrelevant. From the content of such of your correspondence as I have read, you are not seeking to construct any sort of facilities extending into the waterspace, you simply wish to keep your boat at the bottom of your garden – Section 21 would be inapplicable in that case anyway.

It is apparent that you have received a lot of nonsense from the carelessly ignorant CEO and others, albeit that the information relayed to you via this website is perfectly correct – vis that Section 21 has never been applicable anywhere. It relates, not to moorings per se, but to mooring structures that are built into the waterspace [whether canal or river as you correctly gathered]. It applies only to lengths of waterway that have been specifically, by resolution of the Board, designated as a length of navigation wherein safety certificates for such structures will be needed. As Ms Young has correctly indicated, no such resolution has ever been passed in relation to any section of the waterways anywhere. The section is therefore utterly irrelevant.

What is most certainly relevant to your situation is the preceding Section 20, which, in anticipation that BW might attempt to use the granted powers to control such structures in a way Parliament did not intend, explicitly forbad BW from using those powers to deny private rights of mooring.

This is the section you need to understand and be absolutely clear about. The only powers BW have ever been granted to control private rights of mooring lie within the as yet unusable Section 21 – and even those powers if activated, cannot be used to deny private rights of mooring.

The private rights of mooring Parliament refers to in Section 20 are stated to arise from 3 sources – any and/or all of which may apply to your situation. There is the specified right [in England and Wales] that attaches to an interest in land [i.e. Riparian Rights], which would seem to apply to your case; Customary Rights of usage which may or may not apply in your case, and BW conferred rights – for which you would have to check the original Kennett & Avon Enabling Act/s.

If any one of those applies, BW are statutorily forbidden to interfere with or deny your private right of mooring, any “rules” or “policies” notwithstanding. The Ombudsman has absolutely none of the requisite legal knowledge &/or background to have made the findings she did; her opinion in such a matter is valueless and her remit is in any case, restricted to determining whether BW responded properly to your complaint – so that even if she upheld your complaint, so what? You wasted your time and energy there.

It is quite understandable that you have been barking up the wrong tree; get some good legal representation to apply Section 20 and forget the irrelevancies. From all that you have said, you have an unassailable private right of mooring – challenge them on that specifically. BW/CRT will never volunteer anything helpful, but the information provided via this website is perfectly correct – so move on to the legal issues that DO count!

You do suggest, however, that the CEO and others have actually given you incorrect information, and if that is in writing, as seems to be the case, then post it up here on this site so that the public can see what you refer to and so that the Sarina Youngs have something concrete to affirm or deny or acknowledge was false.

If everything you claim was said was purely verbal, then that is unfortunate, and you will just have to chalk it up to their [in your case] unprovable institutional dishonesty/ignorance [whichever might apply!] But really, that is par for the course with these people, and if you wish to get anywhere positive, then you need to acknowledge the type of people with whom you have to deal; leave the emotional affronts behind you and proceed along the path of provable statutory protection.

For the avoidance of any doubt, the answer to your question whether Section 21 is active or dormant is: "dormant" [and irrelevant to you anyway, even if it was active].

Nigel Moore

Dear Information Request,
You are now timed out, without fully giving me the required information. I accept you have partially tried to give me your own version but until there is an official reply I cannot accept your version. Please give fuller documentation as statements by CEO and another manager have more authority than Customer service.

Yours sincerely,

David Hawkins

Information Request, Canal & River Trust

Mr Hawkins,

You have received our official reply, from me, on 7th February 2012, 13 February 2012 and again on 4th September 2012.

These responses were sent by me, in my official capacity as Information Officer, on behalf of Canal & River Trust (formerly British Waterways) following consultation with other appropriate departments at the Trust as necessary.

Kind regards,

Sarina Young
Customer Service Co-Ordinator
Canal & River Trust | The Kiln | Mather Road | Newark | NG24 1FB | Tel 01636 675 740 | [mobile number]
Follow the Canal & River Trust’s Customer Service team on Twitter http://twitter.com/CRTContactUs
Please visit our website to find out more about the Canal & River Trust and download our ‘Shaping our Future’ document on the About Us page.

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Dear Information Request,
Thank you for your reply, I take it then that this overrules two statements made by Mr Evans in his official capacity of CEO of BW, a statement by Mr Ward in his official capacity of manager in BW also a written statement by Waterways Ombudsman Office in her official capacity.
I accept your current statement as we are communicating on a public internet site, in absence of any signed letter on headed paper.
I would suggest though that Trading Standards have a statement that requires customers are not to be confused. Regulations that can be misinterpreted surely must be removed from published internet sites and senior staff should responsible for giving correct interpretation of all regulations or at least have a protocol that explains every rule simply to all customers.
I reserve my rights to bring this to the attention of C&RT complaints procedure

Yours sincerely,

David Hawkins

Dear Canal & River Trust,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Canal & River Trust's handling of my FOI request 'Confirmation of Section 21 (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8) of Waterways Act 1995 is either active or dormant'.

[I request an internal review on the confusion of information I received about this section 21 ]

I raised the question of this section 21 as I own a Lock Keeper's cottage and at the end of my garden is a structure, a rural wharf or a landing stage or whatever it is built extending into the canal of mud stone and rubble when I moored a canal boat alongside it fitted like a glove and everything to do with any canal is that each and every bit has been dug by hand and shovel nothing is natural every bit is man made for a purpose.
I raised the section 21 therefore to ask for arbitration a third party to act as honest broker... I received immediate negative response from Mr Evans CEO of BW a Mr Ward an engineering manager and Ombudsman telling me that this section only referred to rivers and riparian use for BW over private river courses. I only requested arbitration nothing more! after much questioning I am now informed this act has never been ratified so why tell me it was action for rivers.?
I am confused to the point that your senior officers do not know your own rules and regulations, an act called Trading Standards states that trading rules must not confuse customers! I am assured C&RT and BW both recognise these trading standards, so why are these regulations published in a format that can lead to misinterpretation ?

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/co...

Yours faithfully,

David Hawkins

Nigel Moore left an annotation ()

David, you have asserted that at least some of the ‘advice’ given you was in writing, and you refer to the Adjudicator as well. I note that Ms Young requested in a previous email exchange that you provide this evidence, and if you have it then please supply it for the sake of we the public if not for them – the site operators can pin it up here, even if BW/CRT were disinclined - but their request for it is certainly fair [you should never assume that BW’s left hand knows what its right hand is doing!] I for one would be very interested to see what was said to you in writing in respect of this topic.

Information Request, Canal & River Trust

Dear Mr Hawkins,

Thank you for your e-mail today and request for an internal review to be conducted.

A review of your case will be undertaken by a director or manager in a senior role and a response will be sent within 40 working days, although we will do our best to respond sooner.

Kind regards,

Sarina Young
Customer Service Co-Ordinator
Canal & River Trust | The Kiln | Mather Road | Newark | NG24 1FB | Tel 01636 675 740 | [mobile number]
Follow the Canal & River Trust’s Customer Service team on Twitter http://twitter.com/CRTContactUs
Please visit our website to find out more about the Canal & River Trust and download our ‘Shaping our Future’ document on the About Us page.

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Simon Salem, Canal & River Trust

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Hawkins

Further to Sarina Young’s email below, please see attached response from
Simon Salem, Director of Marketing and Fundraising.

Kind regards

 

 

Vivienne

 

Vivienne Radfar

PA to Chairman & Chief Executive

Canal & River Trust, First Floor North, Station House

500 Elder Gate, Milton Keynes, MK9 1BB

 

T: 01908 351810

Follow @canalrivertrust from the Canal & River Trust on Twitter

 

Please visit [1]www.canalrivertrust.org.uk to find out more about the
Canal & River Trust

and download our ‘Shaping our Future’ document on the About Us page

 

 

 

 

 

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