More work for Om­buds­man

Canal Boat - - News -

DE­SPITE A RE­DUC­TION in the num­ber of of­fi­cial com­plaints en­ter­ing the Canal & River Trust’s com­plaints sys­tem, the num­ber that re­mained unresolved and were, there­fore, raised with the Wa­ter­ways Om­buds­man has shown a slight rise from 54 to 62.

Om­buds­man An­drew Walker’s an­nual re­port shows that out of th­ese he opened 16 new in­ves­ti­ga­tions. He also com­pleted 14 ex­ist­ing ones, out of which eight com­plaints were up­held at least in part. They in­volved: CRT tak­ing over six months to pro­vide a key to a san­i­tary sta­tion for a dis­abled boater. A boater in­cur­ring ma­rina and travel costs as a re­sult of be­ing trapped on the far side of the Rib­ble Link by wa­ter short­age when CRT had al­ready been aware that lev­els were low. A boat dam­aged while re­vers­ing out of Foul­ridge Tun­nel ( pic­tured) af­ter it met a CRT work­boat com­ing the other way – de­spite hav­ing en­tered on a green light. Safety is­sues in­clud­ing un­even sur­faces at a CRT per­ma­nent moor­ing Sink­ing of a sail­ing boat with a keel, pos­si­bly as a re­sult wa­ter level drop­ping De­lays in ex­tend­ing a wa­ter­side property lease. Fail­ure by CRT to pro­vide a clear ex­pla­na­tion of con­text when sup­port­ing an ap­pli­ca­tion for a new ma­rina. Fail­ure of pro­ce­dures to deal with re­port­ing of leak­age from a canal into farm­land Those which were not up­held in­cluded: Re­fusal of per­mis­sion for over­stay­ing by a boater who said she couldn’t move her boat safely on her own with young chil­dren on board. The Om­buds­man felt that the sit­u­a­tion “must have arisen be­fore” and there must be “an el­e­ment of parental re­spon­si­bil­ity”. A boater with a home moor­ing ( but not gen­er­ally us­ing it) be­ing treated by CRT un­der the same rules as those with­out home moor­ings. The Om­buds­man said he could con­sider whether CRT has im­ple­mented its own rules, but that it is not his role to de­cide on in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the law.

See wa­ter­ways-om­buds­ for the full re­port and case sum­maries.

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