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Navigating and living on the waterways of Great Britain & Ireland and news of canal developments. (Public)
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TOPIC: EA Thames Navigation User Forum (TNUF) 20211016

EA Thames Navigation User Forum (TNUF) 20211016 19 Oct 2021 20:27 #126383

  • Andy Soper
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Hello Keith,

Thanks

Found it now! Will follow up - confidentially for now

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Andy Soper
DBA Director Representation and Treasurer
mv Neeltje
Coookham
0044 (0) 303 666 0636

You don't need a barge to join - a dream of boating in Europe will do'. See www.barges.org

EA Thames Navigation User Forum (TNUF) 20211016 19 Oct 2021 20:17 #126382

  • Andy Soper
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Thanks Keith - but I cannot use the image to locate the mooring. Is the grey blob the narrowboat?

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Andy Soper
DBA Director Representation and Treasurer
mv Neeltje
Coookham
0044 (0) 303 666 0636

You don't need a barge to join - a dream of boating in Europe will do'. See www.barges.org

EA Thames Navigation User Forum (TNUF) 20211016 19 Oct 2021 00:55 #126348

  • Keith Norfolk
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Attachments:

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EA Thames Navigation User Forum (TNUF) 20211016 18 Oct 2021 20:15 #126347

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Hello Keith,

No attachment - please send direct if easier.

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Andy Soper
DBA Director Representation and Treasurer
mv Neeltje
Coookham
0044 (0) 303 666 0636

You don't need a barge to join - a dream of boating in Europe will do'. See www.barges.org

EA Thames Navigation User Forum (TNUF) 20211016 18 Oct 2021 19:57 #126346

  • Keith Norfolk
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Indeed they are, I always try to do my bit by clearing litter whenever we're there.
It has a name but I can't remember what it is, we are now on the K & A so without taking a road trip to Wallingford I can't help with that right now sorry.
Please see the satellite image attached which doesn't show the actual boat but does show where it is/was moored.This is downstream from Wallingford bridge, the narrow boat on the right is the one that ended up on the bank, but has since been re-floated, the boat in question is in the space immediately next to the narrow boat and opposite the rowing club.

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EA Thames Navigation User Forum (TNUF) 20211016 18 Oct 2021 19:08 #126345

  • Andy Soper
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Thanks Keith - does the boat have a visible name?

The Earth Trust are great people and we love that site and have often moored there - can you send map or what three words location of the mooring?

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Andy Soper
DBA Director Representation and Treasurer
mv Neeltje
Coookham
0044 (0) 303 666 0636

You don't need a barge to join - a dream of boating in Europe will do'. See www.barges.org

EA Thames Navigation User Forum (TNUF) 20211016 18 Oct 2021 19:08 #126344

  • Andy Soper
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Thanks Keith - does the boat have a visible name?

The Earth Trust are great people and we love that site and have often moored there - can you send map or what three words location of the mooring?

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Best Wishes
Andy Soper
DBA Director Representation and Treasurer
mv Neeltje
Coookham
0044 (0) 303 666 0636

You don't need a barge to join - a dream of boating in Europe will do'. See www.barges.org

EA Thames Navigation User Forum (TNUF) 20211016 18 Oct 2021 16:04 #126339

  • Keith Norfolk
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Hi Andy,
I don't know his name but he was doing relief at Culham Lock when I last saw him, I believe that he covered Clifton and Day's too.
His boat is a rather unusual tug come fishing boat style around 40 ft long x 10 ft beam with central wheelhouse/bridge.
He had taken up residence at Wallingford against land owned by The Earth Trust ( the same spot where the narrow boat ended up on the bank during last Winter's floods ), the Trust is very tolerant of boats mooring there and he claimed that the Trust was OK with him staying there but I'm not convinced that they view him as permanent.
Keith

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EA Thames Navigation User Forum (TNUF) 20211016 18 Oct 2021 15:39 #126338

  • Andy Soper
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Hello Keith,

Any more details - name, location, dates? I am meeting with EA on Monday to discuss my complaint -
barges.org/discussion-forum/waterways-great-britain-and-ireland/26949-complaint-about-ea-thames-managment

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Best Wishes
Andy Soper
DBA Director Representation and Treasurer
mv Neeltje
Coookham
0044 (0) 303 666 0636

You don't need a barge to join - a dream of boating in Europe will do'. See www.barges.org

EA Thames Navigation User Forum (TNUF) 20211016 18 Oct 2021 15:15 #126337

  • Keith Norfolk
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Andy,
I am wondering if the seasonal reliefs that were kept on includes one I met this Summer, he lives on his boat ( which he bought at the beginning of the year ) and is squatting on private land. He was very proud to strut around in his EA uniform when off duty and when challenged by my wife and myself on more than one occasion why his boat didn't have a registration displayed he shrugged his shoulders and said that EA are too busy to bother about such things.

Keith

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EA Thames Navigation User Forum (TNUF) 20211016 16 Oct 2021 13:39 #126308

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On Thursday 14 October I attended an MS Teams meeting of the Thames Navigation Users Forum. The protocol is that the papers for the meeting are circulated two weeks before the meeting.

We were advised on 30 September :
You will be aware that we endeavour to circulate any papers identified on the agenda for TNUF meetings 2 weeks prior to the meeting date (14 October 2021).Please take this email as a notification that we have taken the decision to postpone the circulation of papers until next Wednesday 6 October.
 
We believe it will be more beneficial to members to receive updates from us that cover outcomes for the whole of Q1 and Q2 (ending today) rather than partial reports. Many of these reports including compliance and finance will not be available until early next week due to the way our internal reporting systems work.’

In the event a total 53 pages of papers were not eventually circulated late on 8 October giving very little time to take soundings from members. My thanks to those who were able to help – especially Tim Crew!

I met, virtually, with colleagues from the main motor boating organisations (NABO, RBOA, ATYC, TMBA and IWA) on 13 October to confirm our consensus on the principal issues.

Historically TNUF is chaired by a senior EA manager and often had an EA main Board Director in attendance. Attendance by EA managers this time was disappointing. The meeting was chaired by Maria Herlihy, one of the two Operations managers currently sharing the additional role of Waterway manager. Apologies for absence were sent by the Area Director Julia Simpson, Thames Area Enforcement Manager Colin Chiverton, National Navigation Manager Andy Wilkinson (now promoted to Deputy Director Commercial and Navigation with his post being advertised!), and there was no Finance manager available to advise on financial figures.

The meeting started in fine style with the acceptance of the minutes of the previous meeting as it was claimed that no objections had been received in time – an erroneous conclusion that they had to accept as the minutes were late being presented – see above!

The Operations update was presented by James Adams – an appointee to a new post as Senior Team Leader responsible to both Waterway Managers and responsible for managing some 10 other managers and team leaders. He claimed that having a resident lock-keeper allocated to each lock and recruiting some 24 seasonal relief lock-keeper reliefs was a great success. It was pointed out that in previous years we had Summer assistant lock-keepers as well giving significantly more man-power over the summer season. He was pleased that 70% of the volunteers had turned up again this year but had no answer as to why 30% hadn’t – despite the organisation chart showing two volunteer managers. He was also pleased to announce that 20 seasonal reliefs have been kept on beyond the end of September and seem surprised that this was challenged as a waste of money as there are too many lock-keepers with too little to do in winter. Unfortunately, on this issue, as on many others in this meeting discussion was cut short with the comment – ‘ this will have to be continued by correspondence’ (eg e-mail) thus limiting the holding of managers accountable for their actions.

A communication plan – gov.uk, conditions website, facebook etc – was announced and challenged by boaters. There is a communications working group within TNUF but this had not been called to comment on the plan – or even involved!

The discussions on vegetation management, a proposal for a wider water safety forum, non-return valves on water points and pump-outs, and Red/Yellow boards protocol were all guillotined to be discussed by email. (I do have the offer from Maria of a telephone discussion with Peter Collins on the Sunbury lock debacle – but no phone call by the end of the week)

Finance – despite promises to improve the presentation of the financial position we were still sent obtuse and impenetrable data. EA continues to obfuscate the figures as the Thames registration year runs from 1 Jan to 31 Dec but the financial reporting year from 1 April to 31 March. What was clear from the figures is that some 1000 boats - £500,000 of income is missing this year despite the marinas being full and increasing numbers ‘continuously cruising’ the river.

Compliance – the proud announcement of 78 patrol launch patrols since April was met with scepticism as it works out as one patrol every other day. EA have ten launches but were unable to advise the annual cost of maintaining one patrol boat. Guillotined discussion again.

Enforcement – Article 16 of the Inland Waterways Order 2010 enables EA to remove boats that do not comply with registration requirements but they do not enforce this and indeed are believed to have agreed with the National Bargees and Travellers any craft that is a home will not be removed. No-one from EA was willing to confirm or deny this agreement but they did advise that they believe need to consult further before using these powers – granted 10 years ago!

Boat Registration Consultation – Sam Holland – National Navigation Adviser presented the outcomes and advised that significant opposition to both area charging and the level of increase had been reported but was not able to advise how this would be reported to the Secretary of State - who has the last word. The £20 million per annum to fund the EA waterways was challenged and a breakdown by waterway asked for again – not available – nor is the level of service that this is based on.

The Thames ‘Business Plan’ (more a collection of aspirations) was rushed through with most of it ‘to be discussed by email’)

One glimmer of hope – if it is possible and the contractors can make it safe to do so the locks closed over the Christmas / New Year will be re-opened for passage during the construction industry three week close down. My prompting worked!

This was an almost totally unsatisfactory meeting. It was held on-line when the EA’s own main Board were meeting face to face. Too many items were tabled late and crammed into just 2 and a half hours. However – EA – have no statutory requirement to hold any consultations – it was abolished as part of the ‘bonfire of the Quangos’ (David Cameron 2015).

On the other hand my complaint (see previous post) about EA waterways management is moving slowly forward is being investigated by a manager from outside of Thames area with a meeting agreed for 25 October.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Bob Marsland, Keith Norfolk, Balliol Fowden, Tim Crew, William and Lucinda Voorhees, William Trebinski

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Best Wishes
Andy Soper
DBA Director Representation and Treasurer
mv Neeltje
Coookham
0044 (0) 303 666 0636

You don't need a barge to join - a dream of boating in Europe will do'. See www.barges.org
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