Dee Access Agreement

Inland paddling
Keith Day
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by Keith Day » Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:21 pm

Keith Day wrote:How will you answer the question
At what point were YOU given the remit to negoate for paddlers on access"?
paddling coach wrote:As I've said. We need to work together and not infight.
Sorry. That wasn't meant to be divisive although reading it again it can be taken as more abrasive than it was meant. The last thing we need is a plethora of paddlers negotiating different versions of agreements.

The thing we are agreed about, surely, is that no-one can negotiate away a public right of navigation and therefore anyone who claims to be party to an "agreement" that claims to over-ride a PRN is simply deluded.

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Uisce
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by Uisce » Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:35 pm

Keith Day wrote:therefore anyone who claims to be party to an "agreement" that claims to over-ride a PRN is simply deluded.
Uisce wrote:Mike's mind lives in a different reality to most folk!
Uh huh ;)

tigerboy
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by tigerboy » Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:49 pm

Ray Goodwin wrote
Quote Originally Posted by Ray Goodwin View Post
It's all kicking off on the Dee. Five of my friends/colleagues that run trips on the river have received solicitors letters threatening an injunction and I don't think it a bluff this time (I received my first threat of this nature twenty years ago). Canoe Wales are determined to fight this one if it goes to court but we need all the support we can get.
The fact is any court case is going to cost a lot of money to defend. The question is can any company or individual afford it? The fishermen certainly can if they fight it as a whole, but will ALL river users, Canoe Wales and the BCU stand together and put their money where mouth is? I hope so for the sake of our future on the river. We may well only have one shot at this and it needs to go our way. We need the best legal team we can get working for us and that will not come cheap!

Who out there would be prepared to put money into such a case and how much? Or will most just sit back bury their heads in the sand and see what happens and wrongly think it will not effect them anyway?

I ask this as other attempts to raise funds for access have not been very effective. What price would we pay for the future of being able to use rivers in England and Wales?

There is a lot at stake here, email Ash at Canoe Wales asap. ashley.charlwood@canoewales.com

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quicky
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by quicky » Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:58 pm

From SOTP

John S
Rather than writing to the EA or EA(W) wouldn't it be more profitable to write to Llangollen Town Council to point out that businesses based in the town (and further afield) are being threatened by local angling organisations, businesses who bring clients into the town, and that it also harms the good name of the town in the wider paddling community which potentially ends up leaving other local businesses with even less money in their tills.

Maybe this has already been done, but if not the Town Clark is Mr. J Gareth Thomas
Town Council Office, Parade Street, Llangollen
01978 861345
llangollentc@btconnect.com

Or are the councillors all anglers?

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Mark R
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by Mark R » Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:08 pm

The BCU statement released in April 2012 made it 100% clear that they would not be backing any paddlers in legal action; see 16b;

http://upload.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/BCUACCESSFAQ.pdf
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by paddling coach » Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:46 pm

Glad I'm in Wales.

Where Canoe Wales feels that the access to water is important enough to go public about their feelings.

The Llangollen chamber of trade has been informed and an email to all their members has been sent out. If paddlers visiting the area let shops, b n b's etc know the problem and discuss the effect on their businesses if paddlers are restricted.

This is a terrible situation and I fear that the fish folk will push and push.

As a group of paddlers we have to decide if we want access or not. If we do, we will need to support each other and help those being targeted and picked on. Because if only one of them falls and agrees to the restrictions we have a terrible precedent against us.

steveparry
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by steveparry » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:30 am

Email sent to Ash. I'm a Canoe Wales member currently living in NZ for a year...were I back home I would be on the Dee after work every night this week.

Incredible.
Steve

tigerboy
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by tigerboy » Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:13 am

Who out there would be prepared to put money into such a case and how much? Or will most just sit back bury their heads in the sand and see what happens and wrongly think it will not effect them anyway?
Lets have some answers please??? Then we will know if people think it is worth fighting for.

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quicky
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by quicky » Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:30 am

If anyone has a copy of the solicitors letters can they send a copy. (Just so I can show it to the local MP's)

66quinny66
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by 66quinny66 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:45 am

Does anyone have a legal background or know someone who does? Is an "access agreement" a contract? If so, would it have to be signed by individuals legally entitled to represent each of the parties? Is it possible to breach a contract that you have not signed up to? A contract should be fair and equitable and this is worded in such a way as it is the anglers controlling access by others. I don't see how one group can dictate access constraints to something that is not under their ownership.

dpround
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by dpround » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:38 am

The Camping Club has a fighting fund, a charity (I think) set up to deal with legal issues etc. I would be very happy to pay into a similar fighting fund so that whoever gets dragged up to be the test case has some financial assistance with the legal costs. How many members has the WCA or BCU got? if each member donated £10, would it be enough?

The camping club also runs events where donations go to the fighting fund. (Got to be a bit careful here, I don't know the details, but the general idea seems workable.) If the fighting fund gets charitable status then they could claim gift aid.

David

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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by DaveB » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:31 am

In answer to a recent post the access agreement entered into by Chris Charters binds no one other than him and anyone who actually authorised him to negotiate on their behalf. The Agreement cannot affect the rights of other paddlers in any way. So if the access issue goes to court the issues wil be exactly what they have always been- is there a specific right of navigation to the bit of water in question and if not is there a general right of navigation as argued by Doug Caffyn and if there is a right of navigation to the water in question (whether specific or general) are paddlers accessing and egressing the river over land across which they have rights of access or not.

If a test case is brought I would hope that a fighting fund might be raised to support the defendant because without financial backing a lot of people faced with litigation would have no option but to surrrender. If every white water club and white water business in England and Wales (and Northern Ireland since I guess the law will be the same over the water) put up £500 how much would that come to I wonder?

dpround
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by dpround » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:24 am

I Think that the fighting fund needs to be raised in advance of any case coming to court as without the certainty of support who could afford to take the risk of fighting the case?

David

tigerboy
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by tigerboy » Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:12 pm

I agree that the fighting fund needs to be raised in advance of any case.
Mark R » Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:08 pm
The BCU statement released in April 2012 made it 100% clear that they would not be backing any paddlers in legal action; see 16b;

http://upload.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/BCUACCESSFAQ.pdf
Also if the BCU still want to sit on the wall and not support such a case then I think paddlers need to think about not being members any more and put what they would have spent on membership into such a fighting fund. I feel that their are some very nicely paid jobs at the BCU and they really do not want to put their heads above the para pit and risk them in any way and that is their reason for their lack of support of any real action on river access. What kind of UNION is it that does not support its members in such a case? Not one that I want anything to do with. They either need to man up or bow out as their time is up if they do not defend their members.

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RichA
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by RichA » Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:54 pm

Email sent to Ash.

Tigerboy, yes this is worth fighting for, of course it is! I'm moving to Scotland (the land of many less access problems), but would still contribute to a fighting fund for access to Welsh rivers - IF it is backed and controlled by Canoe Wales and I know that any money will be used in a constructive manner in support of everyone involved in paddlesport, for the cost of any legal issues regarding access to rivers and nothing else. It won't work if only the minority contribute, and who can guarantee that?

An alternative would be if Canoe Wales had a 'fighting fund' and promised to support any paddler that runs into legal troubles over river access in Wales. This would encourage membership to CW, means everyone contributes the same amount to the fund, and start to encourage unity in the paddling community. Thoughts?

tigerboy
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by tigerboy » Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:36 pm

An alternative would be if Canoe Wales had a 'fighting fund' and promised to support any paddler that runs into legal troubles over river access in Wales. This would encourage membership to CW, means everyone contributes the same amount to the fund, and start to encourage unity in the paddling community. Thoughts?
Thats a great idea, if the BCU made the same promise to defend its members that would be even better and make all paddlers a united voice. But we are yet to see that promise in print from any governing body!

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Tom_Laws
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by Tom_Laws » Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:01 pm

RichA wrote: IF it is backed and controlled by Canoe Wales and I know that any money will be used in a constructive manner in support of everyone involved in paddlesport, for the cost of any legal issues regarding access to rivers and nothing else.
Which is why I won't be contributing to a fighting fund based on some thread on the interweb, but I will continue to help Ash and CW as best I can.

Just to reiterate - please email "Ashley Charlwood" <Ashley.Charlwood@canoewales.com>, with your support. The more that do, the more that can help.

Oh and finally, get out canoeing. (or kayaking!)

dpround
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by dpround » Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:32 pm

A fighting fund needs to be a financially separate organisation, or it will not be able to perform its function and we will have no forwards movement. (It has to be able to take positions and risks that would not be appropriate for an NGB.) I would like to see one fund jointly run by Canoe Wales and Canoe England. This is the suggestion that I have made to Ashley.

Forming a properly registered charity is no trivial business and the NGBs will need considerable encouragement to make this effort. On the other hand as a properly registered charity you will have your financial guarantees.

dpround
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by dpround » Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:39 pm

tigerboy wrote:
An alternative would be if Canoe Wales had a 'fighting fund' and promised to support any paddler that runs into legal troubles over river access in Wales. This would encourage membership to CW, means everyone contributes the same amount to the fund, and start to encourage unity in the paddling community. Thoughts?
Thats a great idea, if the BCU made the same promise to defend its members that would be even better and make all paddlers a united voice. But we are yet to see that promise in print from any governing body!
No NGB is going to give you this promise. They will never see it as worth gambling their continued existence or as their primary role. This is why it is necessary to have a financial separate fighting fund. It can and should be a charity *run* by the NGBs though.

John Saunders
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by John Saunders » Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:18 pm

dpround wrote:Forming a properly registered charity is no trivial business and the NGBs will need considerable encouragement to make this effort. On the other hand as a properly registered charity you will have your financial guarantees.
The BCU knows exactly how to register and run a charity: http://www.canoefoundation.org.uk/cf/in ... about-us/. Take a look at the list of Trustees and then compare it to the first list of names here: http://www.bcu.org.uk/about/bcu-structu ... ommittees/. That said, MarkR's reminder about the answer to item 16b on the W&E FAQ's shows a clear enough statement about the likelihood of financial backing to any paddler faced by a legal challenge.

cp
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by cp » Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:33 pm

Anyone get the feeling their stance may change if one of the medal winners was caught on disputed waters and taken to court?

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quicky
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by quicky » Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:26 am

Letter and email to local town Council gone off and meeting arranges with MP's. If anyone has a copy of the solicitors letter warning can they PM me. MP wants to check the legality of it apparently...

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RichA
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by RichA » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:26 pm

dpround wrote:A fighting fund needs to be a financially separate organisation, or it will not be able to perform its function and we will have no forwards movement. (It has to be able to take positions and risks that would not be appropriate for an NGB.) I would like to see one fund jointly run by Canoe Wales and Canoe England. This is the suggestion that I have made to Ashley.

I like this. Good point, well made.

Is there any chance of this happening? Has it already happened and we're not aware of it? Should be consider it 'impossible' in the short term and forget about it?

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richard2
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by richard2 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:20 pm

I have also emailed Ashley with my thoughts. Despite kayaking for a number of years, I paddled the Dee for the first time last Sunday. I had a great time, unaware of any access issues and certainly got off the river after 1500!
Regarding the letters sent out threatening legal action, what exactly are they threatening? I presume it will be through the civil court rather than criminal?
Thanks
Richard

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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by Bill Maisey » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:36 am


tigerboy
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by tigerboy » Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:55 pm

This may be worth a look...
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/bcu-river-access


Re: BCU Access Policy, what do you think?
by robp » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:31 pm
Thanks for the completing this.

I just took a quick peek at the responses so far and unsurprisingly 95% of folks who've completed the survey disagree in principle with the BCU negotiating restrictive agreements.

More surprisingly over 65% of the responses have been BCU members and of the 35% who weren't, nearly two thirds would consider (re-)joining. So far 90% of responders would support calling an EGM or presenting one of the various motions at the AGM.

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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by dougdew99 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:43 pm

I want to see Paul Owen, CE, Canoe England, show some leadership and openly paddle on a disputed river, and dare Fish Legal to sue him. I would be there with him... Life is too short for all this appeasement, Neville Chamberlain style... what a story to tell your grandchildren. I am sick of half arsed eternal discussion about this and that.. They are our rivers, we want them back for our kids and our families and for young people to have adventures, take risks, love nature... They do not belong to the anglers or the land owners... They belong to everyone...

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Big Henry
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by Big Henry » Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:30 am

dougdew99 wrote:I want to see Paul Owen, CE, Canoe England, show some leadership and openly paddle on a disputed river, and dare Fish Legal to sue him. I would be there with him... Life is too short for all this appeasement, Neville Chamberlain style... what a story to tell your grandchildren. I am sick of half arsed eternal discussion about this and that.. They are our rivers, we want them back for our kids and our families and for young people to have adventures, take risks, love nature... They do not belong to the anglers or the land owners... They belong to everyone...
Have you tried emailing him and asking him? Or (as someone previously mentioned) one of our medal winning Olympians?

tigerboy
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by tigerboy » Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:21 am

dougdew99 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:43 pm
I want to see Paul Owen, CE, Canoe England, show some leadership and openly paddle on a disputed river, and dare Fish Legal to sue him. I would be there with him... Life is too short for all this appeasement, Neville Chamberlain style...
I think you will wait a very long time if you expect the BCU to do anything effective on access. Its been forty years already and counting. Do not hold your breath.

I think they are not only appeasing the fishermen, but worst off all they are appeasing their members. Keep taking the salaries guys?

"Appeasement is a diplomatic policy aimed at avoiding war by making concessions to an aggressor."

Ken_T
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Re: Dee Access Agreement

Post by Ken_T » Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:10 pm

I have emailed Ashley to express support, although I am a Canoe England member & am not Welsh.
Ken

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