Plans to review boat licencing

The request was partially successful.

Dear Canal & River Trust,

I refer to your current consultation concerning how boats are licenced on your waterways.

In particular, I refer to your assertion 'The current licensing system has remained largely unchanged for more than two decades and is often cited by boat owners as being complex and out of date.'

Please provide -

1. All information recorded during 2016 that supports your assertion that boat owners cite the current licencing system as being complex and out of date.

2. Details of the 'major change' that was made to the licencing system over two decades ago together with the date.

3. Details of any changes made since.

Yours faithfully,

Allan Richards

Information Request, Canal & River Trust

Dear Mr Richards,

Thank you for your request for information regarding the plans to review boat licencing.

I can confirm this request was received on 8th March and I am dealing with it in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Under the terms of the Act you are entitled to a response within 20 working days of receipt.

If for any reason we are unable to meet this deadline we will keep you fully informed of the reasons for this and will tell you when you can expect a response.

In the meantime if you have any queries about this email, please do not hesitate to get in contact. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

Kind regards,

Frazer Halcrow
Information Officer Assistant

T 01908 351962 M 07584 115258 Ext 1162

Follow @canalrivertrust from the Canal & River Trust 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.

Canal & River Trust, First Floor North, Station House, 500 Elder Gate, Milton Keynes, MK9 1BB

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Information Request, Canal & River Trust

Dear Mr Richards,

Further to your request of 8th March and our acknowledgment of the same date please see our responses to your questions below.

1. All information recorded during 2016 that supports your assertion that boat owners cite the current licencing system as being complex and out of date.
Some of the information here is already available in the public domain on our website at the following link https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/meetings/... However, the majority of our knowledge about boater perception comes from verbal communications with them and therefore is not held in a recorded format.

2. Details of the 'major change' that was made to the licencing system over two decades ago together with the date.
The major change referenced is the introduction of the 1995 British Waterways Act.

3. Details of any changes made since.
Please see https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/media/lib... regarding our changes to business licencing.

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the date of this email and should be sent by email to [email address] or by post to Information Officer, Legal Department, Canal & River Trust, First Floor North, Station House, 500 Elder Gate, Milton Keynes, MK9 1BB. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications. You are also able to contact the Information Commissioner by telephoning 0303 123 1113 although please note they would usually expect you to have gone through our internal review procedure before contacting them.

Regards

Andy Glyde
Governance, Assurance & Risk Manager, Canal & River Trust, Fearns Wharf, Neptune Street, Leeds, LS9 8PB
T 0113 2845221 M 07917 217576 Ext 6021

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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 'Plans to review boat licencing'.

I refer to your response to part 1 of my request where you confirm that you hold hold no information that supports the assertion that you have made.

Unfortunately, you contradict your response by suggesting that documents relating to a NAG meeting held on 10 October 1916 are relevant.

I would like the reviewing officer to either confirm that the three documents in the public domain do not contain information specific to the request. Alternatively, I would like the reviewing officer to provide an extract which supports the assertion made.

For the avoidance of doubt, part 1 of my request asks for 'all information recorded during 2016 that supports your assertion that boat owners cite the current licencing system as being complex and out of date'.

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

Yours faithfully,

Allan Richards

Information Request, Canal & River Trust

Dear Mr Richards

Thank you for your email.

I have not yet passed this on for internal review as I believe I can answer your query. If after reading this you would still like an internal review then please just let me know and I will pass on your comments.

In response to part 1 of your query the wording in my initial response was:
"Some of the information here is already available in the public domain on our website at the following link https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/meetings/... However, the majority of our knowledge about boater perception comes from verbal communications with them and therefore is not held in a recorded format."

The two statements are not contradictory. I have not stated that we hold no information to support the assertions we have made, just that the majority of the feedback we receive is not in recorded format.

We believe that the referenced documents provide insight into boater views, particularly in the notes from small group discussions on licensing review, where there is direct reference to making the system simpler and reducing the number of bands, there is also reference to discounts being obscure.

My aim in providing a link to the documents was to provide you with as full a response as possible, I am sorry that you feel it has not done so.

Regards

Andy Glyde
Governance, Assurance & Risk Manager, Canal & River Trust, Fearns Wharf, Neptune Street, Leeds, LS9 8PB
T 0113 2845221 M 07917 217576 Ext 6021

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Allan Richards

Dear Mr Glyde,

A partial extract of my request for review is as follows -

'I would like the reviewing officer to either confirm that the three documents in the public domain do not contain information specific to the request. Alternatively, I would like the reviewing officer to provide an extract which supports the assertion made'.

Your communication of 3 May does not address this.

If you wish to confirm that the Trust holds no recorded information related to part 1 of my request please do so. Otherwise, please pass my request for review to an appropriate person.

Yours faithfully,

Allan Richards

Information Request, Canal & River Trust

Dear Mr Richards,

Many thanks for your email, I can confirm this has been passed to an appropriate individual to conduct an internal review. We shall issue a response within 20 working days in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

In the meantime if you wish to discuss this matter further please do not hesitate to get in contact using the above reference number in any correspondence.

Kind regards,

Frazer Halcrow
Information Officer Assistant

T 01908 351962 M 07584 115258 Ext 1162

Follow @canalrivertrust from the Canal & River Trust 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.

Canal & River Trust, First Floor North, Station House, 500 Elder Gate, Milton Keynes, MK9 1BB

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Information Request, Canal & River Trust

Dear Mr Richards

I have been appointed to respond to your request for an internal review of Canal & River Trust’s handling of you FOI request “Plans to review boat licencing”.

Your original request dated 8 March 2017 asked for “all information recorded during 2016 that supports your assertion that boat owners cite the current licencing system as being complex and out of date”.

My Glyde responded on 31 March by:
• Informing you that most of the Trust’s information about boater perception of the current licencing system comes from verbal communication with them which is not held in a recorded format.
• Directing you to the notes of the Navigation Advisory Group meeting held on 10 October 2016. These notes comprise three documents: the notes of the meeting itself and two supporting documents and are located here https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/meetings/...

You subsequently, on 27 April, requested an internal review: in part your request for an internal review asked for clarification about whether Mr Glyde’s original answer was contradictory: ie that we did not hold information in a recorded format but that he had sent you a link to the minutes of the Navigation Advisory Group which are in a recorded format. Mr Glyde responded on 3 May to explain that these statements were not contradictory.

On the same date (3 May) you then requested a reviewing officer to “either confirm that the three documents in the public domain [which together form the notes of the 10 October 2016 meeting of the National Advisory Group] do not contain information specific to the request. Alternatively, I would like the reviewing officer to provide an extract which supports the assertion made”

Mr Glyde reminded you in his email of 3 May that the majority of information about customers’ views is not held in a recorded format. Mr Glyde also explained in his email of 3 May that the referenced documents were provided to you to provide insight into boaters’ views, and particularly drew your attention to the notes of the licensing review discussion groups and explained that they contain direct reference to making the system simpler and reducing the numbers of bands and references to discounts being obscure”.

I have now reviewed the referenced documents and agree with Mr Glyde’s comments of 3 May. Taken together, the three documents provide information relevant to your original FOI request because they give an indication of the types of customer feedback the Trust received about the current licencing system, and that is why they were provided to you. I am not obliged, and will not, provide you with extracts of these documents.

This concludes my internal review. I am satisfied that the Trust has responded to your request for information and I hope that this resolves your request.

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request for an internal review, then you are able to contact the Information Commissioner by telephoning 0303 123 1113.

Kind regards,

Gill Eastwood
Head of Governance Audit & Risk, Canal & River Trust, Fearns Wharf, Neptune Street, Leeds, LS9 8PB

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Dear Ms Eastwood

I have spoken to two people who attended the NAG meeting to which the Trust has directed me as supporting its assertion regarding the reasons for the review.

Both told me that attendees were unclear at the time due to lack of explanation from Amanda Crossland. Attendees views are recorded in one of the documents published - 'Be clear what the drivers are for reviewing boat licencing'.

Can you please confirm that the documents provided do not support the assertion made.

Yours sincerely,

Allan Richards

Information Request, Canal & River Trust

Dear Mr Richards,

Thank you for your comments. I refer back to the findings of my internal review as emailed to you on the 16 May 2017. My view on this has not changed. I will not enter into any further correspondence on this particular matter.

Kind regards,

Gill Eastwood
Head of Governance Audit & Risk, Canal & River Trust, Fearns Wharf, Neptune Street, Leeds, LS9 8PB

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