For the second time in four years, Elmbridge Council is proposing to impose a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) that would prohibit and fine boaters £400 for mooring on its land on the Thames just outside London. Please respond to the consultation – the deadline is Monday 20th March 2023.
A phone/online meeting Resist the Elmbridge mooring PSPO! will take place on Tuesday 14th March at 7pm. The meeting dial-in number is 0330 808 1706 then enter the PIN 45925961# or log-in here https://8×8.vc/nbta/nbta
The consultation questionnaire to fill in is online here
The main information about the proposed PSPO is here
Please respond to the consultation by selecting “Strongly disagree” to the questions about mooring and about fishing/camping. Please select “neither agree or disagree” to the questions about fires and barbecues.
For questions 15 and 16 here are suggested answers:
15. If you feel that a Public Space protection order is appropriate to manage fishing/camping, do you think that the best option would be to:
Other – A PSPO is not appropriate to manage fishing/camping. People have the right to access public space for recreational purposes no matter what time of day it is.
16. Do you have any further feedback on the proposal?
Yes. The Council has not provided any evidence to back up its claim that littering and noise are a problem on the river bank. If there is evidence of a problem with littering and noise then the Council already has the enforcement powers to deal with it. Any PSPO or other enforcement should specifically target littering and noise, not the action of simply mooring a boat. It is not a criminal offence to moor a boat. The Public Right of Navigation includes the right to moor for a reasonable time on the Thames. ‘Reasonable’ cannot be defined in advance. This is a draconian and oppressive proposal and should not be implemented. Boaters should not be criminalised for exercising their public right to navigate, including mooring. To prevent boats mooring creates safety risks in itself, especially in flood or extreme weather conditions. The proposed PSPO would create homelessness among boat dwellers, depriving them of a place to moor their homes. The proposed PSPO powers would target homeless or vulnerable people which local authorities are specifically prohibited from doing.
See also the NBTA response to the previous PSPO proposal here https://www.bargee-traveller.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/2019-07-29-NBTA-response-to-Elmbridge-PSPO-consultation.pdf