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BroadsAuthority

Coronavirus And The Broads

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57 minutes ago, JennyMorgan said:

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.

I think this is being a bit mis-understood.

For a start, this happened before the tolls were due at the end of March so I don't suppose any boatyard would have paid them anyway! What will happen however, and very obviously, is that yards will want to start taking bookings again as soon as they know they can. They are not just going to pack up and shove off home until next Easter. Once they have some bookings - let's take a guess and say August - then they will start tolling some boats and that will be the full toll for the year, regardless. There are no "short visits" on commercial hire boats!

So as the business season starts to pick up again, the revenue to the BA will also start to pick up accordingly. I think this is perfectly reasonable and is probably the best way to help the boatyards to survive. In addition, it is an immediate relief, without having to wait around for central government to make some sort of compensation, maybe several years later.

Don't forget this has happened before, at times when the bottom has suddenly fallen out of the market. Anyone remember the "ELENI V disaster?" That was a whole season lost, as well!

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Let us not forget that that if tolls are raised next year to cover the shortfall it will be a compounded raise year on year. For us that means an additional cost year on year for pursuing our leisure activity. For businesses it will either mean a reduced profit or profit being maintained by passing the cost on to the customer. It won't end up being a net loss for them.

Personally if one sector (hire) does not pay it's toll this year, or a reduced toll this year, then it should be recovered next year and the years after by readjustment of the toll multiplier. It may mean a reduced profit for a number of years, but the alternative for the private boater is an increased cost year on year.

On another site the good doctor made mention of the fact that 50 of his staff are now working from home. Just think about that number for a minute. Since you cannot dredge or repair quay headings at home those staff must normally be office based. Doing what? They are no longer patrolling Breydon, or opening Norwich yacht stations or information centres. They must already be saving some money, and could probably save a lot more. Surely some functions are currently not required or could be scaled back, meaning they could furlough some staff under the governments current 80% pay for PAYE employees who cannot work.

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17 minutes ago, Vaughan said:

 Once they have some bookings - let's take a guess and say August - then they will start tolling some boats and that will be the full toll for the year, regardless. There are no "short visits" on commercial hire boats!
 

Short visit tolls are only for periods of up to a total of 28 days in any toll year, so pretty irrelevant to this discussion, I think. Perhaps to level the playing field, as there is a blanket ban on all unnecessary travel and all boats (other than those being used as residential accommodation and continuously cruising) are locked in, we could all be given a tolls holiday, until the lock is undone. Then we would all pay an annual toll.

To those who say it would be too difficult, just remember the extraordinary efforts the BA went to when they created a whole new tolls system to hammer motor cruisers, and the huge consultation exercise for the re-branding.

Where there's a will, there's a way. It's just so obvious that the 'will' bit is missing.

 

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8 minutes ago, Paladin said:

Short visit tolls are only for periods of up to a total of 28 days in any toll year, so pretty irrelevant to this discussion, I think.

I don't see the irrelevance at all as I doubt very much that the average hire boat is going to end up with more than 4 weeks this year anyway. What I mean was that short visit tolls cannot be taken on hire boats. That is against yet another one of the "sub clauses".

Anyway, "It's not irrevant - it's a hippopotamus."

Flanders and Swann.

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Would it be too outrageous of me to point out that there are many threads that have drifted into a "lets bash JP"?

Is there a chance that this one might not join them permanently? It would perhaps be both nice as well as useful if this one concentrates on the important issues of how the virus is going to affect the broads and all who use them.

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36 minutes ago, Ray said:

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 don't know what you expect? This is the baseline for lots of taxes and monetary calculations. It is precisely how percentage increases work. 

Moreover though, I am perturbed by the notion of extortion. There is no extortion. The BA is not threatening to place a horse's head on your pillow or smash in your hopper windows if you don't pay your way. You have a choice; you have a boat and the river network charges you to be able to use the network (present situation excepted). Whether you chose to use that network is your decision. If you don't want to pay the "extortionate" rates (which they most certainly are not), remove the boat from the charging area. 

The problem is more ingrained though. Most people are happy to walk into a shop, select an item, pay for it and walk out. It does not matter what the item is; it could be a television, a microwave meal, a holiday. a car, makeup or clothes. We make a choice and we are happy with it. Now, let's take the example of a television; we KNOW that by buying a television, we open ourselves up to an annual tax that is the Televison Licence. WE KNOW THIS! But it doesn't stop us buying it. But then we moan about it (not all of us). We actually moan about the cost of running the television; not in terms of electricity  but in terms of funding a national broadcaster the like of which are revered in most other countries around the world. We moan about paying less than £2.62 a day for every benefit we get from the BBC. 

The same with your boat: you know it will cost money to use. Some costs are fixed others are variable. We know there are costs and we're not quite so bothered if we are paying for maintenance (though it is expensive and hurts). Why is this?

I have a theory that the problem is that we are being told we must pay rather than having a choice in the matter. An AUTHORITY is telling us and we don't like it. Remember, we do have a choice; there are avoidance techniques, but all of them result in the loss of enjoyment from the item that we are refusing to pay for the use of (perhaps buy not buying it in the first place, selling it, putting it on the hard standing etc.)

The issue goes further too. The BA is much disliked and people will go to quiet some lengths to have a go at it. I will not pretend that the BA does not warrant a great deal of its criticism, but guys, the tolls really isn't one of the areas you should attack the BA over. They are positively cheap (currently) when you compare them against any other substantial navigation in the country and I have written a blog on precisely this point that will be live later today (link to follow). 

There's a lot of emotive language being used, often quite incorrectly. Extort is a prime example here. Let's be clear: you are being asked to pay a toll so that you can have the use of, the enjoyment of, the river. You will only be forced if you don't comply whilst being responsible to pay. That's not extortion. If there is no income, the rivers will, WILL, be neglected as money runs out and navigation WILL be affected. Those of you who are worried about Sandford by the backdoor take note: you could be feeding the very monster that you fear. 

 

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27 minutes ago, EastCoastIPA said:

Personally if one sector (hire) does not pay it's toll this year, or a reduced toll this year, then it should be recovered next year and the years after by readjustment of the toll multiplier.

There is no toll multiplier as such. This was abandoned two or three years ago. I understand your point though. 

There WILL be  loss of revenue to the BA from hire tolls this year. Firstly, the BA anticipated this before setting the annual tolls and well before the effects of the lockdown. For instance, Summercraft sold all its boats. But next year will see hire boat numbers fall again unless the big yards increase their fleet size to cover the losses elsewhere.

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41 minutes ago, Vaughan said:

There are no "short visits" on commercial hire boats!

I've seen visitor numbers on hire boats on more than one occasion, not that it matters😊.

The issue is not entirely as to whether a toll should or should not be paid, it is whether it should be paid on the due date or whether indeed it would need to be paid on a boat that won't be hired out this year. Unused hireboats tend to be stored afloat nowadays thus, technically, their toll will be due on April the first, as it is for private boats. As I wrote previously the adjacent waters issue is a pernicious, unwarranted tax but nevertheless it is the law, and it should apply equally to all or not at all.  As to how much of the toll is paid on hire boats this year, well, do any of us know for sure?  Perhaps people have jumped to conclusions but my understanding is that 'stored' private boats are due a toll whilst 'stored' hire boats are not. A lack of clarity has not helped but perhaps that is understandable, all things considered. What I do agree with is that tolls should not be demanded for boats that not being hired. 

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I wasn't going to comment on this topic as most of what can be said already has been, I am just as wary of some of the decisions made within the BA as anyone else and fully understand a lot of the argument being made and appreciate the factual appraisal of the Paladin`s posts.

I am also saddened that like everyone else  I cant access my boat for the foreseeable future, none the less I have paid my toll in full as would have been the case in any other year, I do not expect a refund or rebate, my loss is insignificant in the context  of the sacrifices many are making and the country is as a whole, I am sure what ever duties that can be carried on safely will continue to do so.

With regard to the suspension of tolls from the hire fleet whatever the legalities and I am sure there is some conflict here, we will all need to retain as close to the current status quo as possible for the future well being of the Broads, it is going to take a massive effort to rebuild once this is all over and every business that can be saved will be vital to the recovery of both the Broads and the country as a whole.

It seems to me that what ever course of action is taken by the BA and like most I am not confident that they will get it right there will be a shortfall in revenue that will either have to be addressed next year or a reduction in the services they can provide, I would hope that they get their priorities right although this is by no means certain but I do think that nothing will be gained at the moment by engaging in semantics to the point of curtailing what can be done to preserve the infrastructure we are all dependant on.

Fred

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3 minutes ago, JennyMorgan said:

A lack of clarity has not helped but perhaps that is understandable, all things considered. What I do agree with is that tolls should not be demanded for boats that not being hired. 

There is clarity on this issue: 

https://www.broads-authority.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/423017/FAQ_Adjacent_Waters_Feb-14.pdf

scroll down to the table 

 

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2 minutes ago, rightsaidfred said:

With regard to the suspension of tolls from the hire fleet whatever the legalities and I am sure there is some conflict

It is not a suspension of tolls, it is the application of the law under the Broads Act. Nothing has changed. Hire boats are not getting treated differently now than theyr have been previously treated on the last 8 years or so. Check out the link I posted above for clarification. 

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24 minutes ago, FreedomBoatingHols said:

If there is no income, the rivers will, WILL, be neglected as money runs out and navigation WILL be affected. Those of you who are worried about Sandford by the backdoor take note: you could be feeding the very monster that you fear. 

This has occurred to me over the last  few weeks but I couldn't quite put it into succinct words. 

Well said!

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21 minutes ago, JennyMorgan said:

What I do agree with is that tolls should not be demanded for boats that not being hired. 

Thank Gawd for that! And yards could, of course, get their staff going, hauling boats out of the water and parking them "in the nettles" just to satisfy a "sub clause" which the BA already has had the common sense to  ignore. 

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Andy, as to your recent, more lengthy response. The right to navigate the tidal Broads is no different to the right to walk a footpath, for which we are not charged a toll. The toll is a means by which us users pay for our fair share of the costs for the maintenance that allows us to exercise that right. 

The Authority might not place a horse's head on our pillows but it can and does threaten legal action, legal action that should apply equally to all and sundry.

I willingly pay my toll, about a pound a day and since I use a boat on two out of three days it is good value so no argument with that. My ongoing argument is in regard to the obvious manipulation and deceit by the powers that be on this issue. 

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3 minutes ago, JennyMorgan said:

Andy, as to your recent, more lengthy response. The right to navigate the tidal Broads is no different to the right to walk a footpath, for which we are not charged a toll. The toll is a means by which us users pay for our fair share of the costs for the maintenance that allows us to exercise that right. 

I am not sure I fully understand the semantics of your point.

But to be nitpicky, only a relatively small area of the broads is arguably tidal anyway with the rise and fall higher than around Cantley/Langley on the Yare being more an issue of tide blocking (at least this is my understanding). I am happy to be corrected or have the finer points explained with words of one syllable if necessary :-)

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13 minutes ago, JennyMorgan said:

My ongoing argument is in regard to the obvious manipulation and deceit by the powers that be on this issue. 

Excuse me, but I can't see that!

Last week I posted (and you agreed) that the BA are now in the face of the most catastrophic recession that the Broads has ever known.  I suggested that they must now do whatever is possible to let the tourist industry survive and recover.  For the interests of all who use the Broads.

I am very glad to see that, so far, they are doing exactly what I knew they must do.

I think the words manipulation and deceit are inappropriate to this situation.

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1 minute ago, FreedomBoatingHols said:

But to be nitpicky, only a relatively small area of the broads is arguably tidal

Andy, you are based on the River Yare, you must see the tide flowing past your front door! The same can be said of the Waveney that flows past my front door. Both Beccles and Norwich are 'ports' with a right of access to the sea. If your property deeds are anything like mine then there will be a clause in there stating that you have a right of access to the sea, as in riparian rights. It is also accepted by Parliament that the Broads are tidal, as indeed they are.  Dr Packman, for whatever reason, researched this very topic and has accepted that the Broads are largely tidal. as indeed they are. Next time you visit Potter Heigham, buy a bag of chips and grab a seat by the bridge, nibble away and watch the water passing under that bridge, maybe not the tidal range of the Yare but undoubtedly a tidal flow.  

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1 minute ago, Vaughan said:

I think the words manipulation and deceit are inappropriate to this situation.

Maybe, but my observation was in regard to the tolls in general and the example of the Peto's Marsh mooring 'one off payment' in particular. 

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6 minutes ago, JennyMorgan said:

Andy, you are based on the River Yare, you must see the tide flowing past your front door! The same can be said of the Waveney that flows past my front door. Both Beccles and Norwich are 'ports' with a right of access to the sea. If your property deeds are anything like mine then there will be a clause in there stating that you have a right of access to the sea, as in riparian rights. It is also accepted by Parliament that the Broads are tidal, as indeed they are.  Dr Packman, for whatever reason, researched this very topic and has accepted that the Broads are largely tidal. as indeed they are. Next time you visit Potter Heigham, buy a bag of chips and grab a seat by the bridge, nibble away and watch the water passing under that bridge, maybe not the tidal range of the Yare but undoubtedly a tidal flow.  

Very occasionally does the tide actually reach as far as us. It's only really noticeable boats suddenly start to point towards Norwich rather than Yarmouth.  

Mind if I buy the chips from Ormesby though? :-)

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Isn't it nice, we are having a good debate and no one is taking exception to opposing opinion. Thank you. 

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29 minutes ago, FreedomBoatingHols said:

I am not sure I fully understand the semantics of your point.

But to be nitpicky, only a relatively small area of the broads is arguably tidal anyway with the rise and fall higher than around Cantley/Langley on the Yare being more an issue of tide blocking (at least this is my understanding). I am happy to be corrected or have the finer points explained with words of one syllable if necessary :-)

Tidal influence on the Yare extends as far as New Mills in Norwich, and Wroxham (at least ) on the Bure. The thurne can be observed as tidal to Heigham Sound.  That's hardly a small area surely ?

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17 minutes ago, JennyMorgan said:

Maybe, but my observation was in regard to the tolls in general and the example of the Peto's Marsh mooring 'one off payment' in particular. 

To quote another member : "Irrelevant to this discussion."

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Surely the tide does have a limit which is actually designated? Its shown on OS maps as the NTL.

On the Bure its just outside the north end of Wroxham Broad, the Thurne its the north end of Candle Dyke, the Ant at the south end of Barton and the Waveney at Ellingham Mill - I guess the Wensum is New MIlls but I cannot find one for the Yare as the map does not go that far

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10 minutes ago, JennyMorgan said:

Isn't it nice, we are having a good debate and no one is taking exception to opposing opinion.

Actually, I am.

And what the Hell are we talking about tides for?

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