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BroadsAuthority

Coronavirus And The Broads

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26 minutes ago, Paladin said:

I suggest that (a) could be used as a defence against any prosecution brought by the BA.

I do not get the impression from the BA at this time, that they have any intention of prosecuting some poor bloke sitting in Richardsons' wet shed!

Whether or not you wish to pay your private river toll is your own choice. I have made mine, and paid my toll. And I am glad to have done so, in these awful times! My toll will contribute to the maintenance of the place we all love, ready for when we can come back and enjoy it!

The problems of a commercial hire boat business are a very different matter and should not be regarded in the same blanket terms. I am very glad to see that the BA seem to be taking the same practical view and doing what they can to assist the boatyards.

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3 hours ago, JennyMorgan said:
3 hours ago, Vaughan said:

I think the BA is being most reasonable in assisting the boatyards to survive this plague.

Agreed.

 

3 hours ago, JennyMorgan said:

The Adjacent Waters issue is a running sore as regards the Broads Act, it is an unfair, unreasonable clause that should never have been enacted in the first place.

Also agreed!

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I second that Vaughan - I want my Broads to be around when I get back on the water.

The cost issues as far as boat are concerned are no different than if I had decided to take a holiday and I will happily pay my toll.

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Do you expect those confined for 12 weeks to get a rebate on their road tax?

paul

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3 hours ago, Vaughan said:

I am very glad to see that the BA seem to be taking the same practical view and doing what they can to assist the boatyards.

Like wise but in practical terms I wonder if the BA is in any position to turn a blind eye on the one hand whilst getting heavy on the other. In neither case does it effect me directly except that all our tolls might need to rise next year in order to make up the shortfall. I really don't know the answer.

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Orca's tolls have been paid too, thankfully I accrue the funds throughout the year so everythings paid this year but its then a potential problem for me next year and I'm pleased to pay it and offer my little bit of financial help to the broads... Yup I probably could have spent wiser on toilet roll but it's the BA's money.

Can I kind of suggest that we don't overly waste the BA's time at the moment, yes I fully agree and understand that they should be challenged and held to account, but it's an unprecedented moment in time, everyones minds are probably elsewhere. I highly doubt they are going to prosecute anyone at the moment and will do all they can to help/support/turn a blind eye on an individual basis. Hopefully it's all over soon and I'm sure many of us will soon forget about and carry on with life like nothing happened.

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46 minutes ago, JennyMorgan said:

In neither case does it effect me directly except that all our tolls might need to rise next year in order to make up the shortfall.

I understand what you mean, but they will to have to rise an awful lot more if there are hardly any more hire boats, or boatyards to provide all the services that the BA would then have to somehow provide themselves. As I said last week, we have got through previous recessions with the help and understanding of the Commissioners and local councils.

This is not the time to start invoking phrase and sub-clause of some Act or another  :  It is time for all to do what is most practical, in order not just to make it worse for the future.

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There's a great deal of consternation here and lots of justification as to why people shouldn't pay their river toll. Hireboat toll income makes up a substantial part of the navigation works budget as I understand it and the tourism industry is suffering like many others right now but is likely to be hit harder as it is seasonal. 

Our booking season typically sees Jan and Feb as reasonably slow with a significant ramp up in bookings and revenue from March onwards. March is a key month for many as not only is it typically the month that summer holidays begin to get heavily booked, it is also the month that sees the first large balance payments begin to be due for the busy period that is Whitsun followed by the start of the fishing season. 

2020 saw better than expected bookings for us in Jan and Feb and allowed us to ramp up our maintenance, doing things that we didn't expect to be able to. Then we hit March and it all falls off a cliff. Not only are people rightfully worried about paying balances, but they stop booking altogether. The domestic holiday industry is on its knees and its not just boats. The same has happened to chalet parks, caravan sites, self-catering cottages, glamping, motor-homing and pretty much any other holiday you could dream up and that was before the lockdown. 

There is a serious risk that the hireboat industry will be irrevocably impacted by this virus because our income has stopped for an indeterminate period of time. During this time, our rent needs to be paid despite the mothballing of yards. The electricity still needs to be paid and whilst there is a rates holiday, we still need to try and pay workers and staff and retain them whilst they might also be falling ill or even potentially losing loved ones. And when it's all over. let's pretend in June, the county having got just a little bit sick of each other having been holed up for so long might just prefer to get back to work for a rest rather than booking a holiday. And, even if they do book boating holidays, we still need to find huge sums of money to toll the hire boats for a year whilst nursing tiny booking numbers producing a fraction of the income that was expected.

Some might say that the big boys will be better placed to deal with this and weather the storm. That might be true, but we are all in the same boat; we all have overhead and the bigger the company, the bigger the overheads.

The one thing that can be controlled is the number of hire boats that we choose to toll. That number may be well down on predictions which will mean that the BA will be attacked again next year for not doing enough to maintain banks and so on because it doesn't have the money. 

The BA may be forced to increase tolls next year to compensate for this year's under funding or it might be forced to slow its works programme. 

This whole idea of "Well if they're not paying, I'm not" won't wash with the BA or the courts when they prosecute as the law firmly on the Authority's side. 

Everybody with a tolls bill needs to make a decision. If you don't want to pay it, can I respectfully suggest that you get the boat out of the water or find another way to not be liable so that you don't end up in a legal situation with the Broads Authority that you cannot win. 

 

 

 

 

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39 minutes ago, FreedomBoatingHols said:

And, even if they do book boating holidays, we still need to find huge sums of money to toll the hire boats for a year whilst nursing tiny booking numbers producing a fraction of the income that was expected.

Some might say that the big boys will be better placed to deal with this and weather the storm. That might be true, but we are all in the same boat; we all have overhead and the bigger the company, the bigger the overheads.

I have quoted just this, from what I consider to be one of the best posts I have seen on this forum.

Members : I commend this post to you. Read it carefully - it comes from the "coal face".

And then read it again.

And again a third time, in case you missed anything!

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Wise words, Andy. Perhaps your very nice landlord will be benevolent to you!

At this moment in time we can only hope for a late season, I hope so for your sake.

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Lowestoft harbour might offer a refuge for those who just want to store their boat afloat. 

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@FreedomBoatingHols Andy that's tough reading and I've everything crossed that we will all make it through this. Can I recommend though that you contact your MP, I've actually been messaging mine here a little over a few things and she's (well her staff) have been really good at replying. I do believe that the government is doing all it can to help but they can only help if they know what it's like on the ground and by going direct gets it straight under their noses.  I watched the PM's questions for the first time ever and many MP's were referring to such contact. You may not get help immediately but I'm sure you will. Good luck Andy et al. 

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Andy, hope everything goes ok.

I hope when we are given the all clear in this country the borders to going abroad are kept closed for a long time until the world is clear, 

Thus creating a home market for holidays.

paul

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The borders to going abroad are not closed though. So we may be given the all clear before there is even such opportunity to ‘keep’ them closed. As this sorry saga has progressed the risk areas have highlighted themselves e.g. construction site workers etc. . How long before all the manageable risks are eliminated? The airports should close to passenger flights now. Essential travel only.

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I must sat that I know that the BA do get slanted on here for good and bad, but I hope that they can go to sleep at night knowing that their work of what they do goes for the benefit of the Broads, and not for their bank balance!

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Cerise Lady tolls paid , £381.44 for the year , if she were on the Ouse it would be over £500 , IMHO excellent value for such a beautiful cruising area . Yes for a while we are unable to use her , as are many others , but when this sad time is passed we look forward to resuming our dreams afloat .

Hire yards being exempted for the duration of the pandemic is not only sensible but essential and necessary for the continuation of the industry without which the Broads as we know (and love) would be irrevocably changed.

Now more than ever we should be looking at supporting each other .

 

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Personally, my thoughts are that I'm more than happy to pay the toll on 'B.A' even though for the foreseeable we can't use her.  I want the rivers and facilities to be there for us all to use after this national crisis is put to bed.  I also agree that the hire yards should be given a toll holiday so they can hopefully manage and keep going.

What I will not be happy about - if it happens - is that the private boat owners next year have to shoulder the shortfall caused by the hire toll holiday.  Some of it yes - maybe a one off extra few £'s but would it be a 'One Off' or set a new higher base line for the following years to come?  Unfortunately I have a distrust about the Ba brought on entirely by their own actions over the years

Griff

 

 

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50 minutes ago, BroadAmbition said:

What I will not be happy about - if it happens - is that the private boat owners next year have to shoulder the shortfall caused by the hire toll holiday.  Some of it yes - maybe a one off extra few £'s but would it be a 'One Off' or set a new higher base line for the following years to come?  Unfortunately I have a distrust about the Ba brought on entirely by their own actions over the years

Spot on, Charlie.

My feeling is that the Hireboat Federation should have made its case to the Government, not the Authority. The Government is showing that it will support a well made case from industry and employers. I still question the wisdom of the Authority in relaxing its laws for one sector of river user but not the other. The Hireboat Federation has a strong and deserving case to make, and I support that, but, like Charlie, do not relish us private boat owners picking up the subsequent shortfall, if that should happen.

Should government agencies fail to support the Hireboats then, perhaps, there is a case for support from the Authority. Hindsight is a wonderful privilege but it does appear to have been a knee-jerk reaction. The Authority could surely have agreed, for example, a three month tolls holiday rather than an exemption thus allowing time for the Government to react. Obviously just my opinion, Government might already have been approached and support declined, I can only judge by what has been stated in the Broads Bulletin. 

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1 hour ago, BroadAmbition said:

Personally, my thoughts are that I'm more than happy to pay the toll on 'B.A' even though for the foreseeable we can't use her.  I want the rivers and facilities to be there for us all to use after this national crisis is put to bed.  I also agree that the hire yards should be given a toll holiday so they can hopefully manage and keep going.

What I will not be happy about - if it happens - is that the private boat owners next year have to shoulder the shortfall caused by the hire toll holiday.  Some of it yes - maybe a one off extra few £'s but would it be a 'One Off' or set a new higher base line for the following years to come?  Unfortunately I have a distrust about the Ba brought on entirely by their own actions over the years

Griff

 

 

While I agree with your sentiment, it is not within the remit of the BA to get involved with financial support of this kind. That is down to central government. 
I think you should prepare yourself for being very, very unhappy, further down the line. The BA has a long track record of bending the rules to breaking point, when it suits them.

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I think you should prepare yourself for being very, very unhappy, further down the line. The BA has a long track record of bending the rules to breaking point, when it suits them.

Don't I know it :default_smiley-angry047:

Griff

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1 minute ago, Paladin said:

While I agree with your sentiment, it is not within the remit of the BA to get involved with financial support of this kind. That is down to central government. 
I think you should prepare yourself for being very, very unhappy, further down the line. The BA has a long track record of bending the rules to breaking point, when it suits them.

Paladin is far better qualified to comment than yours truly so I am pleased to read his take on this latest faux pas. That last sentence, especially, is bang on the money. 

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Perhaps an unfortunate use of 'executive powers'? 

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So called "one of" reasons for an increase in tolls must be one of the most blatent legal ways of extorting money.

Any increase in tolls becomes the baseline for the following year, therefore a "one of" is in fact a perpetual year on year increase.

I raised this with Mr Packman through his newsletter last year concerning an increase for a specific project and looked for confirmation that this "one of" would be deducted from the following year. His answer was to point out that the model they always use is well established and that each year's toll is the baseline for the following year.

 

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10 minutes ago, Ray said:

I raised this with Mr Packman through his newsletter last year concerning an increase for a specific project and looked for confirmation that this "one of" would be deducted from the following year. His answer was to point out that the model they always use is well established and that each year's toll is the baseline for the following year.

As will almost certainly happen with the 'one off' Peto's Marsh moorings at Oulton Broad. The man is a fool if he doesn't think that people can see through his shenanigans.

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1 minute ago, JennyMorgan said:

As will almost certainly happen with the 'one off' Peto's Marsh moorings at Oulton Broad. The man is a fool if he doesn't think that people can see through his shenanigans.

That is indeed the issue I raised, we will pay the cost of it every year!

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