Court action against vulnerable boaters

The request was successful.

Dear Canal & River Trust,

Please could you provide any formal procedures, policies, guidance or other standing written instructions to CRT staff about what checks and equality impact assessments you undertake before issuing court proceedings to remove a residential boat from the waterways under section 8 or 13 of the relevent Waterways Acts. I am particularly interested in any documents which indicate how you balance working with vulnerable customers to resolve issues versus what tests or critera are applied to conclude that Court Action is the appropriate way forward.

Please also confirm who in CRT is formally authorised to issue such court proceedings against residential boaters and what if any formal 'sign off' process is applied.

Yours faithfully,

Simon Robbins

Allan Richards left an annotation ()

CaRT's Towpath Mooring Mooring Management Project Update (8 November 2013) is in the public domain and may be relevant to this request -
http://canalrivertrust.org.uk/media/libr...

Section 3.4 reads-

'Community support for those liveaboard boaters who need it, delivered primarily through the Waterways Chaplaincy'.

This suggests that CaRT will notify the the Waterways Chaplaincy such that they can support vulnerable boaters.

However, it should be stressed that the quoted part of the document is under 'Plans' which suggests it is a statement of intent rather than policy.

Dear Canal & River Trust,

Please would you acknowledge receipt of my request.

Yours faithfully,

Simon Robbins

Information Request, Canal & River Trust

Dear Mr Robbins,

Thank you for your e-mail which we received on 6th January and I apologise for the delay responding to you.

We are reviewing our files to identify information relevant to your request and will respond to you as soon as possible or in any case within twenty working days of receipt of your request.

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 my Blogs and the Canal & River Trust’s Customer Service team on Twitter
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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Sarina Young, Canal & River Trust

Dear Mr Robbins,

We assume that your request for "equality impact assessments" refers to the obligation to have due regard to those with "protected characteristics" as part of the general public sector equality duty under the Equality Act 2010.

The Trust is not a named public authority for the purposes of the Act, although we may exercise some public functions in relation to the statutory licensing of boats on our waterway network which would be covered by the general public sector equality duty.

Although it is arguable whether the decision to issue court proceedings in a particular case can be regarded as the exercise of a public function, we do assess the impact of our boat licensing policies and enforcement action on persons with a protected characteristic under the Act on a case-by-case basis. We do not currently have any general "formal procedures, policies, guidance or other standing written instructions" in this regard.

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 my Blogs and the Canal & River Trust’s Customer Service team on Twitter
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 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 'Court action against vulnerable boaters'.

Thank you for the initial response to the first section of my question. However you do not appear to have addressed the second part of my original request viz:

"Please also confirm who in CRT is formally authorised to issue such court proceedings against residential boaters and what if any formal 'sign off' process is applied."

I would be grateful if you would conduct an internal review to explain why your response is silent on this item and if possible please now provide a direct answer to this part of my request.

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

Yours faithfully,

Simon Robbins

Information Request, Canal & River Trust

Dear Mr Robbins,

Thank you for your e-mail of 6th February and I apologise for the delay responding to you.

The decision to enforce is taken by the Enforcement Officer with the agreement of their Enforcement Supervisor and our Legal department. The claim is issued by the Court following an application by Shoosmiths on our behalf.

I am also aware that your e-mail below asked us to conduct an internal review because we had failed to answer this part of your request in our original response. I apologise for this oversight and hope that you are now satisfied with our response.

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 my Blogs and the Canal & River Trust’s Customer Service team on Twitter
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 CRT,

Thank you for your latest information.

In view of your response I am happy to confirm that I no longer see any need for you to conduct an Internal Review into this enquiry.

Yours sincerely,

Simon Robbins

P Smith left an annotation ()

I notice that they refer to "Shoosmiths" and not to "our solicitors" suggesting that Shoosmiths are on a retainer and CRT do not anticipate using any other solicitors.