Access Motion to BC AGM

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Chris Bolton
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Re: Access Motion to BC AGM

Post by Chris Bolton » Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:18 am

This was the motion put forward but in the reply it has been downgraded to England not UK
In the draft motion as posted above, I can't find the text you've put in quotes, so I may have misunderstood the point. I think any difference in wording is down to the confusion I've referred to above, caused by British Canoeing having two separate roles, one to manage coaching and competition across the UK, and the other as the membership body for England **. I don't think it's a downgrade, just a reflection of what BC's role includes in Scotland, Wales and NI and what is in the remit of SCA, CW and CANI.

** David Joy justified this at the NW roadshow by saying it reflects the way Government is structured, ie, there's no separate English parliament. It's a good comparison, but it doesn't means either is the right way to do it.

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Re: Access Motion to BC AGM

Post by Rae1 » Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:50 pm

Could someone remind me why we do not have a Canoeing England?
Then have BC for competition, NGB rules etc, with access and local details left for Canoe England to run.
I was going to ask this on Saturday, but it wasnt the right time/place, instead, I was going to ask the Regional Rep to ask for an answer,

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Re: Access Motion to BC AGM

Post by Pam Bell » Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:41 pm

Rae1 wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:50 pm
Could someone remind me why we do not have a Canoeing England?
There was a Canoe England, for a while, but it was never constituted with the same degree of separation as SCA/WCA/CANI so it's function was never fully understood. As Chris mentioned earlier in the thread, this reflects the political arrangements of the UK.

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Re: Access Motion to BC AGM

Post by cp » Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:41 pm

The point is not whether they can do anything but the fact they will not condemn CW for charging. If they go to ask the government for free passage why should they listen when they support paid passage elsewhere. Until all governing bodies are aligned there is no point wasting money chasing rainbows with the government, this is the get out of jail free card as a reason when they get nowhere. Just saying we can not do anything is not acceptable they can at least condemn the practice and not support it

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Re: Access Motion to BC AGM

Post by Rae1 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:37 pm

CP - are you complaining about the Tryweryn charging for access?
This was covered in depth on another thread, I think you were one of the contributors there. The consensus then, IIRC, was that there wasnt any real problem with paying to use the river there. It isnt a natural river, and there has been a lot of input to the site for a number of years, as well as ongoing maintenance.
I've got no problem at all paying for it.
We had a similar talk on Saturday about access to the Derwent though the grounds of Chatsworth House. Again, I'd pay to go through there if needed, I think it should be free, but , say, a £5 charge, I'd pay. In the grand scheme of things, paying a small amount isnt a problem, and , hopefully, the river will be made open access in due course.
What we need is pressure on the National Trust, The Charities Commision and any other bodies who have input to the Land that surrounds the rivers we'd like to use. If the Owners of Chatsworth are getting Charity money, or money from the National Trust / Councils etc, then we should put pressure on them to allow access to the water - not access from private land, but access to pass through a section of water.
BC won't organise or support a mass trespass (ok, mass use, as I dont think it is trespass) as they think it will damage our interests. It didnt damage the Ramblers did it?

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Pam Bell
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Re: Access Motion to BC AGM

Post by Pam Bell » Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:16 pm

cp wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:41 pm
This is the get out of jail free card
It is not, and the issue has not been dropped. I raised it at the BC AGM and suggested that as this is now an issue to be addressed in Wales, CW Board should take the lead and call a General Meeting to discuss the relationship between the NGB function and the commercial operation. The reply from the CW (Acting) Chair was inconclusive. In response David Joy said that while this is an issue for Wales, BC are willing to help and support.

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Re: Access Motion to BC AGM

Post by Rae1 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:36 pm

Pam, could you explain what you mean please?
I didnt understand what you were suggesting on Saturday, and a number of other people around us didnt either.

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Re: Access Motion to BC AGM

Post by Pam Bell » Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:53 pm

Rae1 wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:36 pm
Pam, could you explain what you mean please?
I didnt understand what you were suggesting on Saturday, and a number of other people around us didnt either.
My suggestion was that the Board of CW should call a general meeting to discuss the relationship between the NGB (ie CW) and the commercial operation (ie CT). This would enable the CT charging issue to be addressed within the wider context.

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Re: Access Motion to BC AGM

Post by Rae1 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:06 pm

Oh, ok, I didnt realise the commercial arm is CT, and I suspect many others there didnt either.

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Re: Access Motion to BC AGM

Post by cp » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:46 am

Yes I am talking about the tryweryn, and if they charged for facilities as they claim it would not bother me but the only people chargesd are those who pass down river so to me it is a charge to pass down the river. This is not acceptable and B.C. said this was not initially, they now seen to have changed their mind.
Pam I was told art the tapas slots that it was dropped add they had no say over CW,all they were willing to do was ask them to reword the charges to for facilities not a launch fee,are to telling me B.C. do not know what they are saying? They told me it had been dropped.

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Re: Access Motion to BC AGM

Post by Pam Bell » Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:17 am

cp wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:46 am
Yes I am talking about the tryweryn, and if they charged for facilities as they claim it would not bother me but the only people chargesd are those who pass down river so to me it is a charge to pass down the river. This is not acceptable
I agree.
cp wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:46 am
B.C. said this was not initially they now seen to have changed their mind.

I don't know who at BC told you this was not acceptable, but just about everyone I have discussed this with (other than at CW) has agreed that it is not. I don't think BC have changed their mind.
cp wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:46 am
they had no say over CW, all they were willing to do was ask them to reword the charges to for facilities not a launch fee
This would be correct if it meant that BC would have no jurisdiction over access and facility policy in Wales.
cp wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:46 am
are you telling me BC do not know what they are saying?
No. Whether BC could have said or done something earlier is a moot point, but we are where we are and we need to move forward from here. John Coyne made clear at the BC AGM, in his response to the comments made by me and Dave Wakeling, that while Wales has jurisdiction in this matter, BC is willing to offer help and support.

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Re: Access Motion to BC AGM

Post by davebrads » Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:18 am

Rae1 wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:37 pm
We had a similar talk on Saturday about access to the Derwent though the grounds of Chatsworth House. Again, I'd pay to go through there if needed, I think it should be free, but , say, a £5 charge, I'd pay. In the grand scheme of things, paying a small amount isnt a problem, and , hopefully, the river will be made open access in due course.
If the desired outcome is open access then paying anything is completely the wrong way to achieve it. By paying you are reinforcing the landowners' view that they own the river, can control the use of the river, and can charge for it if they want. Apart from the fact that there will then be no incentive for the landowners to sit down and discuss open access, if ever this was to be debated in court the fact that people are paying for use of the river will undermine the river users' case that there is no legal reason that we can't freely pass down any river.

The only reason to pay any fee is to prevent anyone hassling you while you paddle the river. That is your choice I suppose, but you should not ignore the possible effect on future negotiations.
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Re: Access Motion to BC AGM

Post by twopigs » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:15 pm

cp wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:46 am
Yes I am talking about the tryweryn, and if they charged for facilities as they claim it would not bother me but the only people chargesd are those who pass down river so to me it is a charge to pass down the river. This is not acceptable and B.C. said this was not initially, they now seen to have changed their mind.
Pam I was told art the tapas slots that it was dropped add they had no say over CW,all they were willing to do was ask them to reword the charges to for facilities not a launch fee,are to telling me B.C. do not know what they are saying? They told me it had been dropped.
The issue at the Tryweryn is IMHO a moot one. I am sure there is no question that Cardiff, Northampton, Lee Valley charge for the use of the facility - and given the work that has gone into developing CT it should be viewed in the same light. I think CT leases the land from Welsh Water and therefore they can control access across that land - and hence charge for parking and whatever facilities are provided.
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Re: Access Motion to BC AGM

Post by John K » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:16 pm

davebrads wrote:The only reason to pay any fee is to prevent anyone hassling you while you paddle the river. That is your choice I suppose, but you should not ignore the possible effect on future negotiations.
Charging for the use of private land to access a river is legitimate. Trying to impose restrictions on someone paddling past or through your land isn't.

I think that CT are charging to access the river across their land. I think this is OK, but they make things unnecessarily complicated by pretending to do something different.

It's not clear to me whether there is any alternative access to the Tryweryn that doesn't require the use of CT's land. I've heard opinions both ways.

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Re: Access Motion to BC AGM

Post by Pam Bell » Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:07 pm

Just to make my own position clear, as it relates to the draft motion, and joint statement with BC:
To charge for access to/use of private land is legitimate. To charge a block 'facility fee' to paddlers while making some of the same facility (e.g. Tryweryn Trail, map for Tryweryn Trail, WC, use of grounds for picnicking, rambling etc) free of charge to everyone else, and advertising it as such, is per se to charge for use of the river.

All other arguments about centre upkeep costs; how feasible it is to get on/off the river at those places owned by other individuals or bodies; provision of shuttles etc, are separate to the core principle.

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Re: Access Motion to BC AGM

Post by John K » Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:24 pm

Pam Bell wrote:To charge for access to/use of private land is legitimate. To charge a block 'facility fee' to paddlers while making some of the same facility (e.g. Tryweryn Trail, map for Tryweryn Trail, WC, use of grounds for picnicking, rambling etc) free of charge to everyone else, and advertising it as such, is per se to charge for use of the river.
I would disagree. It's charging to launch boats from private land. That's legitimate and doesn't mean that they can't allow free access to the land for other uses.

Mile End Mill at Llangollen doesn't charge spectators or people who want to use the cafe, but the paddling community seems to be happy with a reasonable charge per person to launch and recover boats across their land. I don't see that the situation at the Tryweryn is any different.

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Re: Access Motion to BC AGM

Post by DaveBland » Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:52 pm

John K wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:24 pm
Pam Bell wrote:To charge for access to/use of private land is legitimate. To charge a block 'facility fee' to paddlers while making some of the same facility (e.g. Tryweryn Trail, map for Tryweryn Trail, WC, use of grounds for picnicking, rambling etc) free of charge to everyone else, and advertising it as such, is per se to charge for use of the river.
I would disagree. It's charging to launch boats from private land. That's legitimate and doesn't mean that they can't allow free access to the land for other uses.
I think both these very reasonable points of view demonstrate the issue perfectly. Yes, the land owner can charge and not charge for whatever they want and if launching boats is what they charge for, then that's their call.

...but... it isn't just any old land owner – and regardless of what they are entitled to do, if the perception can be that they are charging for a right to paddle then this needs avoiding.
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Re: Access Motion to BC AGM

Post by swagstaff » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:30 pm

Pam Bell does
To charge for access to/use of private land is legitimate
mean that you think its legitimate to charge people for walking across the land? or am I misreading this or taking it out of context?
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Re: Access Motion to BC AGM

Post by Chris Bolton » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:39 pm

DaveBland wrote:..but... it isn't just any old land owner – and regardless of what they are entitled to do, if the perception can be that they are charging for a right to paddle then this needs avoiding.
Well put.
swagstaff wrote:mean that you think its legitimate to charge people for walking across the land? or am I misreading this or taking it out of context
In the context of Wales, I think Pam's statement is correct, unless the land is public or designated as Access Land. It would be preferable if the situation in Scotland applied to Wales (and England) but it doesn't.

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Re: Access Motion to BC AGM

Post by DaveBland » Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:05 pm

swagstaff wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:30 pm
Pam Bell does
To charge for access to/use of private land is legitimate
mean that you think its legitimate to charge people for walking across the land? or am I misreading this or taking it out of context?
Yes of course it is. If I have a garden with my house and I want charge folks to come sit in it or walk through it, I can.
If you ain't paying, you ain't sitting.

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Re: Access Motion to BC AGM

Post by swagstaff » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:47 am

es of course it is. If I have a garden with my house and I want charge folks to come sit in it or walk through it, I can.
If you ain't paying, you ain't sitting.
That may work in some countries where there is a lot of government owned land but in the UK where the vast majority is privately owned it means we could be charged literally almost every time we go for a walk in the countryside. I thought you would be striving in England and Wales for the same situation that exists in Scotland? If that's not the case it seems difficult to understand why it should be different on rivers to on the land. Of course landowners still have a right to privacy but in Scotland & much of Scandinavia they cant claim much beyond the immediate confines of the residence.
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Re: Access Motion to BC AGM

Post by Pam Bell » Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:47 pm

swagstaff wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:47 am
I thought you would be striving in England and Wales for the same situation that exists in Scotland?
We are!
Shortly after devolution of the necessary powers to Wales, WCA presented a petition to the Welsh Assembly:
WCA wrote:The Welsh Assembly Government is urged to consider and implement a Bill to benefit Wales that would enshrine access rights and responsibilities for the public to and along natural resources in the same way that the Scottish Land Reform Act encourages co-operative use of the outdoors for healthy, low impact recreation.
This bill must provide and permit access to and along non-tidal water in the face of the massive lack of legal clarity and restrictions that exist at present, which act as a barrier to sport and recreation and the promotion of Wales as a place to visit for Adventure Tourism.
DESIRED OUTCOME. Primary legislation is introduced to enshrine and enhance public access and responsibilities to natural resources (including inland water) within common sense guidelines so as to protect the environment and allow healthy recreation.
That petition led to a short Inquiry, a full Inquiry and further consultation, before it was quietly dropped in 2013/14. The Waters of Wales - WoW campaign group presented a similar petition in 2016:
Waters of Wales - WoW wrote:We call on the National Assembly for Wales to urge the Welsh Government to implement a Bill to establish statutory public rights of access to land and water for recreational and other purposes. The bill should enshrine access rights and responsibilities for the public in the same way that the 2003 Land Reform (Scotland) Act encourages co-operative use of the outdoors for healthy, low impact recreation. This Bill must enshrine public rights of navigation for inland water, and permit access to and along water. It must remove the lack of legal clarity and restrictions which act as a barrier to sport and recreation and the promotion of Wales as a welcoming place for healthy recreation, tourism and adventurous activity at all levels of participation and enjoyment.
The WoW petition was referenced by the Minister when announcing a new Welsh Government consultation, which proposes further rights of access to land and water. The WoW Petition is currently 'on hold' with the petitions committee, pending the outcome of this consultation.

British Canoeing have made a commitment to campaign for 'Fair, shared, sustainable, open access' for England.
BC wrote: • We are clear that our Aim is to bring about; Fair, shared, sustainable open access to water
• We will campaign for universal clarity through new legislation to give definitive, open access to water.
• We will lobby ministers and DEFRA for further support to confirm a consistent general right of access to water in Britain and develop opportunities for canoeing.
• We will campaign for a positive change in the current status quo. The lack of clarity over the law creates a barrier to progress.
• We will promote strongly that paddlers have a beneficial impact on waterways and in protecting our environment and that canoeing contributes toward improving mental & physical wellbeing and supports the local economy.
However, 'striving for' is not the same as having! Until we achieve our aims for open access in Wales and England, we have to work within the law as it stands. We are confident that a PRN exists throughout Wales and England, but access to the land is restricted by legislation. That is the situation we currently have to work with.

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Re: Access Motion to BC AGM

Post by swagstaff » Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:36 pm

If it's of any help in arguing the case in the future Pam the reason I set up my businesses in Scotland was because there is good access to both land and water. Having the option of being anywhere in the UK 16yrs ago it seemed a no brainer to come here, I did look around the whole of the UK.
Well time to go for a paddle on the Tay or the Lyon and get on and off wherever I want at no charge.
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Re: Access Motion to BC AGM

Post by Pam Bell » Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:13 pm

swagstaff wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:36 pm
If it's of any help in arguing the case in the future Pam the reason I set up my businesses in Scotland was because there is good access to both land and water. Having the option of being anywhere in the UK 16yrs ago it seemed a no brainer to come here, I did look around the whole of the UK.
Thanks Stuart! It would be a great help if at some point you wrote making that point to the Welsh Government Minister for Culture Tourism and Sport. If you felt like making it an open letter we could post it in the group to help others with their own letters.

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Re: Access Motion to BC AGM

Post by Franky » Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:54 pm

swagstaff wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:47 am
That may work in some countries where there is a lot of government owned land but in the UK where the vast majority is privately owned it means we could be charged literally almost every time we go for a walk in the countryside.
No we couldn't. Public footpaths across private land are legal rights of way. A landowner could no more charge you for using a public footpath than your neighbour could charge you for driving past their house.

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Re: Access Motion to BC AGM

Post by DaveBland » Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:10 pm

Deleted post. Wrote a stoopid one.
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Re: Access Motion to BC AGM

Post by Franky » Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:35 pm

To be clearer, I should probably have said, "A landowner could no more charge you for using a public footpath than for driving on a public road that passes through their land."

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