Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123
Results 121 to 178 of 178

Thread: Writing to Your MP

  1. #121
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Rawtenstall, Lancashire, England
    Posts
    8

    Default

    I wrote to my MP Jake Berry on 22nd October and got the standard reply. "the DfE prefers to leave such matters for local landowners to make arrangements". In other words, this government does not want to upset the landed gentry.

  2. #122
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Worcestershire
    Posts
    459

    Default

    I wrote to my MP Jake Berry on 22nd October and got the standard reply. "the DfE prefers to leave such matters for local landowners to make arrangements". In other words, this government does not want to upset the landed gentry.
    You need to change the context of your letter to them and try again. I'm banging my head against a brick wall with Richard Benyon at the moment, but I won't give up!

    You need to put it to them that there is a direct correlation between our situation and that of walkers in the earlier part of last century where access agreements were also pushed as the way forward. Ask them if they would be happy for walkers and hikers to have to do this now? And if they don't, then why do they think that this is an acceptable policy to take for taking a canoe or kayak down a river or for wild swimming?

  3. #123
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Keynsham near Bristol
    Posts
    3,748

    Default

    I wrote to Richard Benyon to ask him to confirm that there is still an unrepealed Navigation Act for the River Avon in Hampshire. I got a reply from an aid suggesting if I needed legal advice I should ask a solicitor! I have now written to my MP clarifying that I don't need legal advice, I need information on legislation on the subject that Richard Benyon is responsible for and asking him to intervene on my behalf. Next is a freedom of information request if necessary!

    We don't need to know what Defras views or attitudes are - they have already made these very clear. But we are entitled to know how they justify these views in the face of evidence that they are unfair, ineffective and arguably contrary to English Common Law and in the case of the River Avon and others contrary to statutes). The objective of writing to your MP should be to get him to realise just how wrong Defra's stance is so that, when the time comes, he can approach any vote from a better informed position. Does he know that Red Card to Red Tape (commissioned by the Ministry for Culture, Sport and the Media) came to the opposite conclusion as have many other non Defra reports over the years?
    Keith

  4. #124
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    cambs
    Posts
    1,432

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithD View Post
    The objective of writing to your MP should be to get him to realise just how wrong Defra's stance is so that, when the time comes, he can approach any vote from a better informed position. ?
    Unfortunately, my MP is a Defra minister - and maybe has cotton wool in his ears too! - But i've not given up yet!
    Sam
    Last edited by KeithD; 7th-December-2011 at 05:37 PM.

  5. #125
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    717

    Default

    Has anyone got any new councillors. Why not write and congratulate them but also ask for a meeting to talk to them about the access to rivers situation.

  6. #126
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Llanddarog Carmarthen
    Posts
    654
    Journal Entries
    3

    Default

    One year ago a few of us met with Dwr Cymru re access on Llyn Brianne. It started well but now it is impossible to get replies to emails and a phone call. I have now written to John Griffiths AM (Env Minister) using this as an example of the argument for having an access as they have in Scotland as it is impossible to make progress with vol. agreements.

    I await a typical politicians reply!

  7. #127
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Burton on Trent
    Posts
    452

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithD View Post
    Good reply Sam! Exactly the right issue. VAAs don't work unless they start with equity of rights and responsibilities as in Scotland and as recommended in Red Card to Red Tape.
    When Defra gives the standard reply about VAAs we could try questioning their lawfulness. Try this paragraph in your reply to your MP's reply

    "The public right of navigation on all rivers affirmed by the 1472 Act for Wears & Fishgarths has not been extinguished by legislation or the exercise of statutory powers [Rowland v EA] and the public have no powers to rescind their rights. Therefore, neither the public nor any organisation has the power to make any agreement that places any restriction on a public right of navigation. Any VAA which places any restriction on navigation would appear to be unlawful. Just as on a highway the right of passage on a public right of navigation is without let or hindrance. Any agreement or arrangement that could be construed as a let is also unlawful. Could you please ask Defra to comment on these matters."

    Let's see what they can say to this !

  8. #128
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Dinnington, Sheffield
    Posts
    1,921

    Default

    Add Kevin Barron - Labour - Rother Valley to the list of MPs written to.

    I will update you with the reply.

  9. #129
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    North Devon
    Posts
    2,048

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Falcn View Post
    Add Kevin Barron - Labour - Rother Valley to the list of MPs written to.

    I will update you with the reply.
    Don't hold yer breath I've just sent an email to my MP (Geoffrey Cox) to remind him to answer the letter written to him last October.
    Paul.
    Just goin with the flow

  10. #130
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Keynsham near Bristol
    Posts
    3,748

    Default

    You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince! (I was going to say "You can't catch a fish with every cast" but thought better of it.) They will not all respond positively at first but some will and some will at the second or third attempt.

    The one thing that is absolutely certain is that if we don't try we will get nowhere! One of the keys to a successful campaign is persistence.

    Keep kissing the frogs. We have found some princes already but we need more.
    Keith

  11. #131

    Default

    I must be lucky. I have received a prompt reply to every email I have sent to two MPS... And these were real replies, not form letters.
    Doug Dew
    "The best is yet to come" My Father


  12. #132
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    North Devon
    Posts
    2,048

    Default

    Wooohooo. My MP, Geoffrey Cox QC Member of Parliament for Torridge and East Devon, Has answered my letter from last October. He's had plenty of reminders but he's a busy man and we got there in the end. The first letter sent last year was replied with the DEFRA default.... The only way forward etc...... This was followed in October with another letter........

    .Dear Geoffrey Cox,I have not yet had a reply from the letter sent to you last October, so I'm emailing the letter again with an ammendement to reflect recent changes in thinking from DEFRA I hope you are able to answer the question raised this time.

    Dear Mr Cox,
    Further to our correspondence last year regarding public access to our rivers for activities including swimming and canoeing.
    Thank you for your reply and apologies for the time elapsed before getting back to you.
    The suggestion in your letter that ‘Access agreements are the way forward’ which is, of course, the default reply from DEFRA, is of little help. Access agreements have never worked. They will never work. It implies that we as canoeists have to ask ‘cap in hand’ for permission to paddle a stretch of water, adding weight to the misconception that riparian owners have the rights to control navigation on rivers. The law implies that all physically navigable rivers have had a public right of navigation since
    1472 yet we still have to suffer threats and intimidation from anglers and landowners (harassment and threatening behaviour is a criminal
    offence) as we pursue our healthy, peaceful, no impact on the environment pass time. We do not kill or injure fish or even disturb them whilst enjoying our hobby. England, Wales and, as I understand, Iraq are the only countries in the world where the public doesn’t have free access to rivers by right. Why does the government and its agencies continue to support landowners whilst they flout the law and make up their own rules? It is a case of public nuisance and an act against civil liberties to prevent free passage along a public highway.
    A river is a public highway. The generally understood (amongst riparian
    owners) principal that a riparian owner can control navigation on a river is based on old and dubious case law. Statute law states that all rivers have a public right of navigation and this status may only be extinguished by legislation or exercise of statutory powers.
    In your reply you said I should contact you if any local access issues occurred. The current river access situation is a countrywide (England and Wales) problem so it affects anyone who wishes to enjoy the beautiful rivers of the Southwest. I’m sure you’re aware that the situation is totally different in Scotland since the right to roam was extended (land reform act of 2003) to include rivers. The legal situation in Scotland has been clarified, rules have been set so everyone (with responsibilities as would be expected) can enjoy their environment. It works in Scotland, it can work in England and Wales.
    Waters were included in the Countryside & Rights of Way Act but were removed following lobbying from estates, fisheries and riparian owners with only their own financial interests in mind. Again the government backed down, effectively siding with riparian owners rather than follow what is set down in law.
    The standard DEFRA response of ‘Access agreements are the way forward’ is now inconsistent to their newly stated views. The Angling Trust say the law is clear - there is no public right of navigation on unregulated rivers.
    · DEFRA have told River Access For All that the law is unclear and said they have neither sought nor received any legal opinion, or formed their own opinion on Revd. Dr Caffyns claim that there is a public right of navigation on all rivers physically capable of navigation.
    · River Access for All says the evidence is clear (none has ever been identified by either DEFRA or the Angling Trust to challenge Douglas Caffyns work) but DEFRA and the AT can’t be expected to appreciate that, until they engage with the evidence which they have steadfastly refused to do.
    We now have the situation where canoeists are being asked to obtain permission from riperian landowners for access to rivers where it is by no means certain that riperian landowners have any right to deny them access. Will you please ask DEFRA to clarify their position in the light of this inconsistency?

    Thank you for your time and if you wish to join us on a canoe trip on the River Taw or Torridge in the coming months you’re more than welcome. Please feel free to contact me by email xxxxxxxxxxxxx or at the address above.
    Yours Sincerely,
    Paul Smith


    and this is the reply to that one.

    Dear Mr Smith, once again I apologise for the delay in replying.

    I am sorry that you were not satisfied with the previous letter from DEFRA and I will once press them again on this.

    As you rightly point out, the legal situation must be clarified, and the concerns of landowners, anglers and canoeists balanced.

    I do understand that this is an emotive issue for all concerned and I have received representations from others with opposing views to your own. The inconsistency in the application of the law cannot persist.

    I will of course be in touch again when I have had a response from DEFRA.

    Once again apologies for the extreme delay in responding to you.

    Well at least Mr Cox accepts that there is a problem, but he is sitting firmly on the fence at this stage. I guess he has more connections with rural landowners than paddlers so has little choice. So we're now waiting for something from DEFRA. One step at a time eh.
    Paul
    Just goin with the flow

  13. #133
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Dibden Purlieu
    Posts
    111

    Default

    I've just received a letter from Defra so will summarise for you all tomorrow, but suffice to say I was less than impressed and will be following up with my MP!

  14. #134
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Keynsham near Bristol
    Posts
    3,748

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by paulsmith View Post
    As you rightly point out, the legal situation must be clarified, and the concerns of landowners, anglers and canoeists balanced.
    I don't think Geoffrey Cox MP can be criticised for sitting on the fence for that reply, although the speed of response leaves more than a bit to be desired. Mr Cox was a prominent barrister used to evaluating evidence before entering parliament. He's seen enough to know that the status quo is indefensible and it's fair that he wants to listen to what Richard Benyon has to say before making further judgement. We are not asking for new rights or the rights of others to be extinguished. So the first step is to get recognition of what our rights are and the second step to balance them against the rights of others - all based on an impartial evaluation of evidence. That in itself distinguishes us to our credit from those that oppose us.

    Thanks for your perseverance Paul.
    Keith

  15. #135

    Default

    Your MP doesn't even look at the letters, 99 times out of 100 it will be a civil servant policy officer who reads and replies in your MPs name.

  16. #136
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Dibden Purlieu
    Posts
    111

    Default

    That's fine I will be following up with a surgery to discuss so it will be addressed and mine has a surprisingly good rep locally.

  17. #137

    Default

    My wife was a policy officer for an MP... It is fact that they have not a clue what letters are written to them! She would answer questions aimed at her boss, then sign them as if from the boss -MP....

  18. #138

    Default

    Remember this??

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/February_15,_2003_anti-war_protest


    6-10 million people protested against something they did not agree with! Did it make any difference? No......

    Just paddle

  19. #139
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Dinnington, Sheffield
    Posts
    1,921

    Default

    I also got a copy of a reply from Owen Paterson to my MP today. I'm also unimpressed with the response ...

    Department for Environment


    To Rt Hon Kevin Barron MP

    From The Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP
    From the Secretary of State

    Thank you for your letter of 20 February enclosing a copy of one from your constituent, Mr
    Keith Naylor of xxxxxxxxxx Dinnington, Sheffield, about access to rivers.

    The report Mr Naylor refers to, Red Card to Red Tape — How sports clubs want to break
    free from bureaucracy, was published by the Sport and Recreation Alliance. Although the
    report was commissioned by the Government the views expressed in it are those of the
    Sport and Recreation Alliance and not the Government. Accordingly, we have no plans to
    introduce Scottish-style access provision in England. The intensive use of land in England
    for multiple economic and leisure activities means that increasing access for one group of
    people usually constrains the access or rights of others.

    I believe that a balance needs to be struck between the different uses which our non-tidal
    waters serve. As Mr Naylor identifies, there can be sources of tension between those
    exercising fishing rights and canoeists and rowers using the same waters. l am sorry to hear
    of the problems he has experienced from other river users.

    Our policy remains that those wishing to use privately-owned, unregulated watenrvays '
    should work with the relevant landowner to agree access. These decisions are best made
    between local people, according to their area’s own recreational, business and conservation
    needs, rather than by central government. During the Department's study of pilot
    agreements, we were able to demonstrate the successful conclusion of agreements which
    managed the site specific issues and tensions which arose. Moreover, 99% of 400
    landowners contacted said they were willing to consider voluntary agreements. Many,
    however, are put off from pursuing agreements because the governing bodies of canoeing
    in England and Wales do not support the use of agreements.


  20. #140

    Default

    He probably never even saw or heard of your letter.. It was some civil servant responding in his name!

    Our policy remains that those wishing to use privately-owned, unregulated watenrvays '
    should work with the relevant landowner to agree access. These decisions are best made
    between local people, according to their area’s own recreational, business and conservation
    needs, rather than by central government. During the Department's study of pilot
    agreements, we were able to demonstrate the successful conclusion of agreements which
    managed the site specific issues and tensions which arose. Moreover, 99% of 400
    landowners contacted said they were willing to consider voluntary agreements. Many,
    however, are put off from pursuing agreements because the governing bodies of canoeing
    in England and Wales do not support the use of agreements.
    That last paragraph, spells it out!

    Paddle, paddle, paddle.....

    Here's the agreement from my point of view.

    Land owner "Hey you, you're trespassing on my land"

    Me "Sue Me then"

    The land owner wants an easy life. Will he really want to spend thousands taking civil action against a geeza floating off down stream?
    Last edited by wavecloud; 20th-March-2013 at 09:47 PM.

  21. #141
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Keynsham near Bristol
    Posts
    3,748

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Falcn View Post
    I also got a copy of a reply from Owen Paterson to my MP today. I'm also unimpressed with the response ...
    That's the latest standard reply from DEFRA - they wore the previous ones out. Owen Paterson will not change his mind because of letters from you but he will because of the views of other MPs. What did Kevin Barron say? Ask him to ask the All Party Group for the Waterways to take an impartial look at the evidence of a public right of navigation and make recommendations to Parliament.
    Keith

  22. #142
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    North Anston, Sheffield
    Posts
    913

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Falcn View Post
    I also got a copy of a reply from Owen Paterson to my MP today. I'm also unimpressed with the response ...
    I've written to Kevin Barron as well, and expect an identical reply. Maybe we should both get back to him and tell him we are most unhappy with the response, and ask what he's going to do about it? Mainly we need to reject their supposition that just because the landowners want to have voluntary agreements (at best), that doesn't constitute a fait accompli.

  23. #143
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Bucks
    Posts
    6,646

    Default

    If you are looking for any change or clarification to the law by the government, rest assured that their starting point is likely to read something like:

    Our policy remains that those wishing to use privately-owned, unregulated watenrvays '
    should work with the relevant landowner to agree access.
    If that is ever enshrined in law we will have a real headache.

  24. #144
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    North Anston, Sheffield
    Posts
    913

    Default

    Exactly, but I'm assuming they have no intention of enshrining it in law, because that would require them to admit what the current law is, , and to get the assent of parliament for any change is very debateable.

  25. #145
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Bucks
    Posts
    6,646

    Default

    So why are we all writing to our MPs?

  26. #146
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Worcestershire
    Posts
    459

    Default

    To help change the "consensus" of opinion, and because MP's might realise there are votes in it.

  27. #147
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    North Anston, Sheffield
    Posts
    913

    Default

    I thought we wanted them to admit there is already a right of access, which I understand was our position.

    So we want our MP's to support our position with DEFRA, don't we? I do anyway.

  28. Default

    Having read the Goerge Monbiot article I e-mailed my MP using the River acces for all template with a few changes to make it less formulaic. This is his reply
    Dear Mr Couchman,

    Thank you for your e-mail on Tuesday about some of the problems faced by canoeists and other river users, I was very concerned to hear about these and about the ongoing battles that have taken place over public rights of navigation. I must admit that I was largely unaware of these so I am grateful to you for bringing them to my attention.

    I think that the first step will be for me to write to Defra about this matter urging them to change their position and help river users secure the rights of navigation that are legally theirs. Once I have received a response from them I will forward it on to you and at that point (depending on their response of course) it might be worth me asking some questions in Parliament and forcing them to answer these publicly. I think that that would be a good way of challenging any comments made in their response with which you disagree. I hope that this sounds amenable to you, I will write to Defra immediately and be in touch as soon as I hear back.

    Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

    Yours sincerely,
    Justin Tomlinson MP

    Sounds pretty posative to me. I suspect he's new and hasn't been told not to rock the boat. I await with interest his response to DEFRAs standard reply.

  29. #149
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Keynsham near Bristol
    Posts
    3,748

    Default

    Nice one Duncan!

    A perfect example of what can be achieved. We have a public right of navigation but until it is recognised many canoeists swimmers and others will still experience harassment when they exercise it.
    Keith

  30. #150

    Default

    Duncan
    Can you post a copy of the letter you sent your MP which persuaded him to response in he way he did?
    Doug Dew
    "The best is yet to come" My Father


  31. #151
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Robin Hood's Bay,Yorkshire
    Posts
    2,635

    Default

    Despite being a cynic, I think it is never a waste of time writing to MPs.

    Even if you do not get the response you wanted, it does sow seeds in their minds. Many winning campaigns started with just a few simple letters.
    http://www.davidwperry.blogspot.co.uk/

  32. Default

    doug
    As I said it was just the river access for all letter. Here it is anyway. The hard part is making sure the formatting keeps the links to the various references.
    Dear Mr Tomlinson,
    I am a constituent of yours living at (my address). I am a canoeist concerned at the conflict & intimidation that many experience as a result of the different interpretations of the law regarding public rights of navigation on our rivers in England and Wales.
    This article by George Monbiot of the Guardian (together with the responses from the Angling Trust, Canoe England and River Access For All) illustrates the problems eloquently. Let me summarise the key points I would like you to take note of.
    ·there is compelling evidence of a historic right of navigation which a court has ruled can only be extinguished by legislation or exercise of statutory power. DEFRA will not engage with the evidence.
    ·DEFRA advocate resolution of the issues by local agreement but many landowners and angling groups interpret this as giving them an absolute veto over the nature of any agreement or even the discussions themselves. The Angling Trusts insistence that they will not even meet with Canoe England unless they concede the existence of such a veto illustrates perfectly why DEFRA policy just cannot work.
    ·As an illustration of the problems, the Englefield Estate office confirms there is a public right of navigation on all the sections of the River Kennet where they lease the fishing fights to the Reading and District Angling Association yet an official of the RDAA vocally denies this on the RDAA forum and, as a result, other forum members openly advocate violence and intimidation against canoeists.
    ·While DEFRA say “There is no clear case law on whether a 'common law right of navigation' exists on unregulated rivers. This is widely accepted to be an unclear and unresolved issue.” The Angling Trust say “The law has been repeatedly confirmed by the courts and is absolutely clear: there is no universal right for people to canoe on non-tidal waters.”

    This situation has remained unresolved for far too long. In 1973 (40 years ago!), the Select Committee of the House of Lords on Sport and Leisure said

    "The legal question of rights of way over water must be settled. A number of different legal interpretations of this right of way have been referred to in evidence and it is time for these to be resolved."

    DEFRA have shown they are unwilling to resolve it. They say that this can only be resolved in the courts, knowing that no member of the public can take such action in the defence of a public right of navigation. This right is reserved to the Attorney General.

    So the resolution lies with you and your colleagues in Parliament. Assuming that you don’t just do nothing, you can either prevail on DEFRA to change their stance and order a comprehensive review of all the evidence for and against the existence of a public right of navigation, or, if they remain resolute in their refusal, call upon an appropriate select committee of Parliament to undertake such a review.

    I am not looking for canoeists, swimmers and others to be given new rights or for any rights enjoyed by others to be extinguished. But it is time for an independent and authoritative review of the claim that there is and always has been a public right of navigation on all rivers subject only to the physical constraints of the river and the size/nature of the craft using them. I can see no reason why anybody seeking no more than the exercise of legitimate rights should fail to want to see this resolved in this way.

    I hope I can count on your support in calling for such a review so that all parties can move ahead on the basis of clearly established rights and responsibilities.

    Yours sincerely

  33. #153

    Default

    It's a great letter. Hopefully many of us will write to our MPs and get a similar response.
    Doug Dew
    "The best is yet to come" My Father


  34. #154
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    North Anston, Sheffield
    Posts
    913

    Default

    I've now had a reply from Richard Benyon. The crux of the reply is that they still think that voluntary agreements will work, and 99% of the 400 landowners contacted were willing to discuss voluntary agreements, but the canoeists do not support this approach, so nothing happens. He also mentioned that they have correspondence from Angling organisations, frustrated at the canoeists approach.

    He confirmed that they aren't going to bother doing anything about it, because it's not a priority and not in the coalition agreement, but the real outcome can only be validated in the courts.


    So make of that what you will, but the status quo isn't going to change, is it!

  35. #155
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    North Devon
    Posts
    2,048

    Default

    If you want to get any positive action from Richard Benyon on anything other than killing wildlife in many varied ways, sadly you're wasting your time.
    See Here
    If that's too political feel free to remove
    Paul
    Just goin with the flow

  36. #156
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    North Anston, Sheffield
    Posts
    913

    Default

    I didn't expect anything from him, but trying to put a positive slant on it, at least he's confirmed he's not doing anything, which is better than working against us.

    Maybe I'm grasping at straws, so keep paddling as considerately as possible until someone, sometime, somewhere finishes up in court where it will be resolved.

  37. #157
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Burton on Trent
    Posts
    452

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tykey View Post

    He confirmed that they aren't going to bother doing anything about it, because it's not a priority and not in the coalition agreement, but the real outcome can only be validated in the courts.


    So make of that what you will, but the status quo isn't going to change, is it!
    For unregulated watercourses it is out of the hands of the courts and is a matter of fact. Has the PRN been extinguished by legislation of exercise of statutory powers? YES/NO That is what Rowland v EA means

    The status quo can change by simply asserting the PRN as I have done in Dovedale. The initial response was fight them on the beaches but slowly everyone is getting used to the idea.

    As to the fishermen, they have no say at all in navigation until they can show us in black and white the legislation or case law to back it up.

    Come on Mark Lloyd, put up or shut up.

    It is no use crying to Richard Benyon. If you didn't want your bubble burst you should not have blown in the first place.

  38. #158
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Robin Hood's Bay,Yorkshire
    Posts
    2,635

    Default

    I wrote to my MP using the template letter with a couple of alterations and received a reply from Robert Goodwill my MP. Summarised it said;

    'He's aware of this issue and that one of the problems of unrestricted access is that access could be exteneded to larger vessels which would in some instances destroy the enjoyment of those who have fishing rights or bank side property.

    He is aware that some lndowners would be happy to permit canoeists to use their river or streams without granting a general right to navigation but on the other hand others may not, especially where fishing provides valuable income. He then goes on to suggest, and offers to, make representations on behalf of local canoesits for access agreements. He also mentioned the well known case regarding the closure of the PRN on the River Derwent here in North Yorkshire.




    My reply was:-

    Dear Mr Goodwill

    Thank you for your reply by mail:-

    There are just a couple of points I'd like to respond to:-

    a) The River Derwent was the subject of a dispute several years ago, to which it was confirmed there is no legal right of navigation. That said I've never had any problem paddling that river because the dispute arose over plans to build a marina and re-instate locks and so on for larger craft, to which various environmental groups/trusts objected.

    b) I appreciate that river access to canoeists which also extended to motor boats or larger vessels could/would cause problems to others. However, many rivers which canoeists would like to enjoy are often too small to be physically used by larger boats.

    c) As you say some some landowners are happy to enter into formal access agreements - and these are often in high value salmon/trout fishing rivers where the agreement allows access outside the salmon/trout fishing season which suits both sides. The main problem with most access agreements is they are normally only for short unconnected sections and thus the ability to paddle long distances is denied.

    I also appreciate that on many rivers, canoeists, such as myself, simply turn up discretely and quietly paddle off without causing any problems and consequently without any objection by the riparian owners - I have had no problems on the River Esk. However there are rivers where canoeing & fishing interests are the cause of much dispute.

    d) The current legal situation regarding river access at the moment appears a little muddled. No legal offence of trespassing on rivers exists and only one case of prosecution of a canoeist exists, to my knowledge, and it was not for trespass. Yet there is no clear 'right to navigation' unless you take into account legal texts from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries which were obviously written before modern recreational canoeing became widespread. Obviously , many riparian owners strenuously object to canoeists using rivers for which they have paid for the right to fish, despite some canoeists asserting that the riparian owners do not control the navigation (only the fishing). This has led to numerous disputes, disagreements and access to some rivers being so contentious they are only used by canoeists who are prepared to put up with trouble.

    e) This state of affairs only exists in England & Wales.

    Canoeists have access to all rivers in Scotland. There is public access to all rivers in every country in Europe to my knowledge and I have failed to find one other country in the world where you do not have legal access to waterways.

    I appreciate you reading this far. Unless you want to counter any point I have made there is absolutely no need at all to reply to this e-mail.

    To which I received the immediate response by e-mail

    "Dear Mr Perry

    I can't really argue with any of the points you've made.
    Best wishes.

    Robert.

    etc..,


    This was a much better response as far as I'm concerned as he didn't really restate his original position.


    http://www.davidwperry.blogspot.co.uk/

  39. #159
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Burton on Trent
    Posts
    452

    Default

    A couple of points to note.

    1) A public right of navigation established or existing prior to the invention of mechanically powered craft does not extend to such craft because that was a future technology. Wills Trustee v Cairngorm Canoe and Sailing School Lltd

    2) Devalueation of property due a PRN is not a legitimate consideration since such loss of property is lawful and in a good cause, the preservation of a PRN. Rowland v EA

  40. #160
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Keynsham near Bristol
    Posts
    3,748

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tykey View Post
    So make of that what you will, but the status quo isn't going to change, is it!
    The status quo has already changed!

    It changed when Defra conceded
    There is no clear case law on whether a 'common law right of navigation' exists on unregulated rivers. This is widely accepted to be an unclear and unresolved issue.
    If there is no case law there is no "precedent" to guide courts on future cases which would have to be decided on the basis of evidence. The evidence of the historic public right of navigation is plentiful and compelling (see http://www.riveraccessforall.co.uk/w...e_evidence.php). No one has presented any credible evidence that there never was a PRN or that (except via the provisions of specific Navigation Acts) it has in anyway been amended, modified or extinguished. The existence of riparian rights do not in anyway preclude the existence of public rights of navigation.

    If you accept the view that disagreements and conflicts are best resolved locally you will need to remember that the right to navigate can only be amended by legislation or exercise of statutory authority - not by agreement. Whether there is any form of agreement or not your rights remain unchanged. You can of course decide not to exercise your rights if you are presented with a compelling reason to do so but that is for for each individual member of the public to decide. You can be guided (but not bound) by agreements reached by others. The notion that landowners or others have a veto of any kind is entirely without foundation. Whilst past Defra actions have implied the existence of such a veto they are careful not to say so now because there is not a shred of evidence to justify it.
    Keith

  41. #161
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Robin Hood's Bay,Yorkshire
    Posts
    2,635

    Default

    Angut

    I think when writing to influence someone such as an MP it is not helpful to start by splitting hairs. Which is why my second letter stuck to what he and others would be expected to know or understand. Splitting hairs may well come into it later.

    That said:-

    1) I have no doubt you are right, regarding motorised craft although I struggled to find a reference in the Wills Trustee case as the summaries I found were rather lengthy. This as I understand it is relevant only if you accept the argument that a general PRN has existed for many hundreds of years in our rivers. Whether MPs or indeed anyone else we wish to influence holds the believe that a SRN actually exists in law for the majority of England and Wales is another matter. If it is ever established that no PRN exists then the issue of access to motorised craft may well become an issue on the back of canoeists attempting to gain free access to all rivers.

    2) The issue of devaluation wasn't something I nor the MP raised. It was simply a comment made by him that householders on the banks of rivers may well legitimately object to unrestricted opening of waterways from a nuisance point of view. Take away the fact of whether you have or don't have a PRN, then householders may also raise their objections to 'people-in-boats' cruising by their previously peaceful waterside houses.

    I'd be rather interested to know from someone with knowledge of the access laws now current on Scottish rivers as to whether the right to access rivers extends to all craft??
    http://www.davidwperry.blogspot.co.uk/

  42. #162
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Hebrides
    Posts
    3,187

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by David Perry View Post
    I'd be rather interested to know from someone with knowledge of the access laws now current on Scottish rivers as to whether the right to access rivers extends to all craft??
    Access under the Land Reform Act applies to non-motorised craft.

  43. #163
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    North Anston, Sheffield
    Posts
    913

    Default

    Sometimes one wonders why you even try to help, so I'll not bother. I'm sure you can argue among yourselves without my help.
    Last edited by Tykey; 10th-May-2013 at 08:19 PM.

  44. #164
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Robin Hood's Bay,Yorkshire
    Posts
    2,635

    Default

    Tykey

    I don't know whether you're referring to what I've posted. But if it is I think your comment is a little misguided. You can't expect every canoeist to agree with every dot and crossed 'T'. Splitting hairs weakens positions. Keeping things general, moves things on. Most of us want access to rivers with no or little impediments. Whether that right exists or not, thats what I want my MP to know and accept. Which he may well do now.

    Quercus

    Thank you, thats useful to know.
    http://www.davidwperry.blogspot.co.uk/

  45. #165
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Burton on Trent
    Posts
    452

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by David Perry View Post
    Angut

    I think when writing to influence someone such as an MP it is not helpful to start by splitting hairs. Which is why my second letter stuck to what he and others would be expected to know or understand. Splitting hairs may well come into it later.

    That said:-

    1) I have no doubt you are right, regarding motorised craft although I struggled to find a reference in the Wills Trustee case as the summaries I found were rather lengthy. This as I understand it is relevant only if you accept the argument that a general PRN has existed for many hundreds of years in our rivers. Whether MPs or indeed anyone else we wish to influence holds the believe that a SRN actually exists in law for the majority of England and Wales is another matter. If it is ever established that no PRN exists then the issue of access to motorised craft may well become an issue on the back of canoeists attempting to gain free access to all rivers.

    2) The issue of devaluation wasn't something I nor the MP raised. It was simply a comment made by him that householders on the banks of rivers may well legitimately object to unrestricted opening of waterways from a nuisance point of view. Take away the fact of whether you have or don't have a PRN, then householders may also raise their objections to 'people-in-boats' cruising by their previously peaceful waterside houses.

    I'd be rather interested to know from someone with knowledge of the access laws now current on Scottish rivers as to whether the right to access rivers extends to all craft??
    David, I was not spitting hairs but addressing issues and a fundamental problem with our ways of thinking.

    Two years ago I was in the same position that most people and CE are in today, uncertainty about our rights and begging the authorities to give us a moiety of what we have already. After two years of study and struggle I now realise that this was the result of tyranny controlling my will (DeToqueville) The situation is clear.

    We already have everything we want. The PRN exists on all unregulated watercourses. It did in Roman times. It was affirmed in 1215, 1297 and 1472. It was judged to exist by the House of Lords in Wills Trustees v Cairngorm Canoe and Sailing School Ltd. Everyone should look at this. It can be found in " The Case for the Claimant" ANNEX A16 page 3 which is posted on my website http://www.andybiddulph.co.uk , starting half way down the first column "I have referred to these cases drawn from different systems of law, ...." The phrase "not confined any to one place or time" clearly negates the argument that this only applies in Scottish Law.

    Every argument that can be brought against us has already been decided in our favour by the High Court or House of Lords.

    eg
    "Established riparian rights" -- rejected out of hand by the House of Lords with the comment "Riparian owners are given to saying such things." AG v Brotherton.
    Loss of property value -- "lawful and in a good cause, the preservation of a PRN" Rowland v EA
    Opens the way to motor boats -- No Wills Trustees v Cairngorm Canoe and Sailing School Ltd.

    I repeat WE HAVE ALREADY GOT IT ALL. The only thing we have to do is assert it. I have proved this in Dovedale. I asserted our PRN and even CE can not snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. The only thing being discussed is how everyone is going to cope with our PRN and how we can minimise our impact on other users and the environment. Influencing MPs is a useful bit of PR but can we please stop arguing round in circles and expressing doubts about our rights,

    I repeat WE HAVE ALREADY GOT IT ALL AND THE ONLY THING TO DO IS ASSERT IT.

    As to fishing interests, until they can show us in black and white where it says they have powers to control navigation, they need not be consulted, although they may wish to discuss practical considerations with us on a friendly basis.

    WE HAVE ALREADY GOT IT ALL AND THE ONLY THING TO DO IS ASSERT IT. There is no lawful way to stop us and we have the criminal justice system to deal with anyone who acts unlawfully.

    There is a weath of resources for asserting our rights on my website http://andybiddulph.co.uk and help and advice avaible by e-mailing navigation_rights@btconnect.com

    WE HAVE ALREADY GOT IT ALL AND THE ONLY THING TO DO IS ASSERT IT. let's get stuck in and get the job done.

  46. #166
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Robin Hood's Bay,Yorkshire
    Posts
    2,635

    Default

    Thankyou! I;ll look at those references.
    http://www.davidwperry.blogspot.co.uk/

  47. Default

    I have just received a reply from my MP Justin Tomlinson. As expected it is the same old DEFRA piffle that voluntary agreements are the way to go. I have responded by asking him to enquire whether Mr Benyon recuses himself from votes in which he has a vested interest and a couple of other things. I don't expect much as my MP is a young tory and Mr Benyon is a minster and landed gentry. Still if all I do is wind up Mr Benyon for a few seconds I will count as a useful e-mail.

  48. #168
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Robin Hood's Bay,Yorkshire
    Posts
    2,635

    Default

    And since my post 158 in which I included a letter and reply from my MP I today received another letter from him, totally unasked for:-

    "Thank you very much indeed for your e-mail of 8th of may regarding access to rivers.I have to say I have difficulty in disagreeing with anything you say and certainly, so long as vessels are powered by muscle power rather than engines, I am sure that the conflict between riparian owners and those using the rivers is likely to be minimal.
    I do from time to time have meetings with the british Marine Federation who represent the manufactuers of vessels and indeed their CEO Howard Pridding, is particularly keen to encourage recreation involving craft and people who will purchase the products produced by his members. He can be e-mailed on dmanners@britishmarine.co.uk and his telephone number is available on the website. I have taken the liberty of forwarding your e-mail to him to suggest that more could be done to encourage owners of waterways to allow more access."


    Etc, yours.....etc.,

    And enclosed was the letter from my MP to the said Howard Pridding:_

    .....

    "....I am sure your organisation have already been pro-active in encouraging riparian owners to allow access, but thought it would be useful for you to see the points he makes and maybe liaise with me to see if more can be done to establish rights of way over rivers for vessels. At this stage Mr Perry is only interested in boats powered by muscle power, rather than some of the more advanced vessels produced by your members but it does seem this is an area where maybe Government could take a lead in establishing what rights people may have over these waterways. Perhaps if you had time you could respond to some of the points made by Mr. Perry.

    Look forward ..........etc.,
    Robert Goodwill MP
    Scarborough & Whitby.

    Now I know there are those who have a genuine belief we already have the right to paddle but the MPs/ministers don't know this, and they will want convincing, or at least have a summary of the main points of which bits of legislation we believe gives us this right, it does allow me to respond in that manner to Mr Pridding. So we may well have a powerful representative of british industry pushing for similar rights as ourselves.

    As far as I'm concerned this is just another step forward and does demonstrate that some MPs WILL go that little bit further than you ask. And Mr Goodwill is a large landowner here too, although I'm not sure he has any rivers/streams running through his neck of the woods.
    http://www.davidwperry.blogspot.co.uk/

  49. #169
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Robin Hood's Bay,Yorkshire
    Posts
    2,635

    Default

    Well I thought it was a nice reply given some of the other responses other SOTPers got.

    Obviously writing to your MP is so yesterday, i wish i hadn't bothered.
    http://www.davidwperry.blogspot.co.uk/

  50. #170
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Keynsham near Bristol
    Posts
    3,748

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by David Perry View Post
    ..... i wish i hadn't bothered.
    I'm glad you bothered David.
    We are slowly changing attitudes among MPs and every MP that engages with the issues, particularly those that then engage with others, contributes to changes in the long held assumptions. It may seem a small thing but Defra's standard responses that continue to say that local issues are best resolved by local agreement, no longer talk about "permission".
    Keith

  51. #171
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Bristol
    Posts
    706

    Default P,f,l,o,p

    Quote Originally Posted by David Perry View Post
    Well I thought it was a nice reply given some of the other responses other SOTPers got.

    Obviously writing to your MP is so yesterday, i wish i hadn't bothered.
    Sorry David, yes I must agree with you, that is a very positive response from your MP, and can only help in

    getting our message across, at least the MP did not ask for a response from DEFRA, since as we know,that

    agency appear reluctant to get involved except to say access agreements are the best option,in a format letter

    form, so thanks for posting.

    You could offer to go for a paddle with your MP, on a river,in his own constituency,if he has the time, I am sure

    he would enjoy it.

  52. #172
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Robin Hood's Bay,Yorkshire
    Posts
    2,635

    Default

    Thank you.

    As you'll notice the MP initially felt access agreements were the way forward - the same response as other replies from other MPs. I assume they go for some advise somewhere or other which explains why they've heard of 'access agreements'.

    Will I offer to take him canoeing on his nearest river - which happens to be the Yorkshire Derwent - and which has had it's PRN removed in 1935?? Maybe. But it just might end up on his expenses account!
    http://www.davidwperry.blogspot.co.uk/

  53. #173
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Burton on Trent
    Posts
    452

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithD View Post
    I'm glad you bothered David.
    We are slowly changing attitudes among MPs and every MP that engages with the issues, particularly those that then engage with others, contributes to changes in the long held assumptions. It may seem a small thing but Defra's standard responses that continue to say that local issues are best resolved by local agreement, no longer talk about "permission".
    I agree. The Zeitgeit is achanging, every litttle helps.

  54. #174
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    The rainy side of the Lakes.
    Posts
    825

    Default

    I bumped into my MP in a pub a couple of weeks ago. After introducing myself and a little bit of chit chat, I told him that I'd written to him in the past about river access. When he asked me if I was happy with the reply that I got, I said I wasn't, but I got what I expected. When he asked what that was, I said "fobbed off". He did have the decency to look a little crestfallen.

    Still, I can't think of anyone who ever received a knighthood by putting his constituents interests above his own....
    Last edited by The Cumbrian.; 10th-June-2013 at 09:35 PM. Reason: I found out how to use the Enter key.
    Cheers, Michael.


    Brute Force and Ignorance is Vastly Underrated.

    "There is magic in the feel of a paddle and the movement of a canoe, a magic compounded of distance, adventure, solitude, and peace."
    -Sigurd Olson

  55. #175
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Robin Hood's Bay,Yorkshire
    Posts
    2,635

    Default

    Following on from my post 168, where I'd written to my MP, and he in turn forwarded my letter to a Mr Howard Pridding who is the CEO of the Britiish Marine Federation and in turn suggested I contact Mr Pridding myself.

    Eventually I did and after a long delay I got this reply from the said CEO of BMF who'd contacted CE with a list of my questions/comments and forwarded their response to me.

    Comments/questions are lettered
    The replies from CE are in bold underneath each comment.

    (my comments/questions are of course based on my understanding of the current situation - and may not reflect everyone elses's)


    Dear Mr Perry




    I think the best way to tackle your request is to answer each question in turn:




    a) The anglers who have riparian rights claim canoeists have no right to be on 'their' rivers.


    We need to understand what is meant by riparian rights? If this means they ‘own’ the bed and the bank of one side that means they own the bed and bank upto half way across the river. If they own both sides then they own the whole of the bed and bank of that section of river. It would therefore be a requirement for anyone passing over private land to the water would require riparian owners permission. However, if the anglers hold the ‘fishing rights’ only, then that is all they have and permission to access land from the anglers would not be necessary as they do not own the land. As far as permission is concerned on the water, CE fundamentally believes in the principle for access to and along unregulated non-tidal waters and does not subscribe to the present assumption by some for these waters to be deemed private. CE contends that recently published research contests this assumption






    b) The canoeists claim that having the riparian rights does not mean you have any right to control the navigation on a river in any case. Simply the right to fish.


    The area of access to and along inland water is extremely complex. The current assumption held by some is that common law supports the position that where rights are not explicit navigation may constitute a trespass. As mentioned above, Canoe England does not subscribe to the present assumption. The Magna Carta and the strength of the latest historical research on the law are further grounds for a presumption in favour of access and public rights to inland waters that are physically usable.


    To further support our views, I would also like to draw your attention to a recent statement from Defra which states that - There is no clear case law on whether a ‘common law right of navigation’ exists on unregulated rivers. This is widely accepted to be an unclear and unresolved issue”. This is a clear modification of their position and can only mean that there is no compelling evidence to support the notion that navigation can only take place subject to the ‘permission’ of riparian landowners.


    c) The anglers claim that the only places canoeists can travel on rivers are those with Public Rights of Navigation(PRN)


    Please refer to the recent statement from Defra above. There are rivers where Navigation Acts remain on statute where a PRN is disputed i.e. Avon (Hampshire), Itchen (Hampshire), Ouse (Sussex), Western Rother (Sussex). The Stour (Dorset) is a recent addition to this list and more may come to light.




    d) Canoeists claim that the PRNs were invariably enacted in the industrial revolution to allow the legal construction of navigational improvements to rivers for larger commercial vessels and that the public right of access to rivers has always existed, both before the improvements and of course, after. The canoeists claim this right is based on Roman law and later medieval acts of parliament including the Wear and Fishgarthes Act 1472, which was enacted to force those who obstructed rivers with fish traps and weirs to remove them because they prevented the rivers from being used by water craft. This is also largely the view taken by a Rev douglas Caffyn, a legal researcher who has written a thesis on medieval river transport.


    Canoe England considers that Magna Carta and the Act for Wears and Fishgarths 1472 confirmed that there was, and is, a PRN on all navigable rivers and that this is supported by the fact that in every court case in which a PRN has been claimed it has been held that a PRN existed if the river was physically navigable.



    e) The anglers and landowners claim canoeists are trespassing on their water.


    Many inland waters in this country, especially the unregulated rivers, are considered by some to be privately owned. To canoe on them without permission could be viewed by some to constitute an act of trespass. Where there is no public launching point, or a public footpath to the water’s edge it is necessary for the paddler to get permission to cross private land to access the water.
    The current assumption held by some is that common law supports the position that where rights are not explicit navigation may constitute a trespass. Canoe England does not subscribe to the present assumption. The Magna Carta and the strength of the latest historical research on the law are further grounds for a presumption in favour of access and public rights to inland waters that are physically usable.






    f) The canoeists claim there is no law of trespass on water for the simple fact there is no crime of paddling on rivers because of the position in d)


    Agree. We believe that the strength of historical research on the law are further grounds for presumption in favour of access and public rights to inland waters that are physically usable. We wish to ensure our members act responsibly through formal training/coaching. Canoe England does not encourage paddlers to defy the law. In the majority of cases anglers and canoeist are quite capable of sharing the waterways in an amicable and sustainable manner. I would like to add that Canoe England has and will continue to promote canoeing as an environmentally benign activity. CE has demonstrated that they are committed to ensure the natural environment is protected through working with environmental organisations and the promotion of responsible and sustainable paddling.





    The view taken by Richard Benyon, Parlamentary Under Secretary of State for Natural Environment, Water and Rural Affairs is that access for canoeists should be achieved by 'access agreements' between owners and canoeists. This is also largely the view taken by Canoe England who mainly represent canoe sports and coaching. As you may appreciate there are difficulties in these agreements in that they are nothing more than 'gentlemen's agreements' and not binding. Many canoeists simply ignore them and they only give access to small portions of a river and only at certain times anyway. So canoeists who wish to paddle the length of a river in the same way you might wish to walk the full length of a public footpath, cannot. (according to the fishermen!)


    Faced with an unmet demand for access to water, the British Canoe Union has endeavoured to develop VAAs ( AAs as known to CE) for over 50 years with little success. As you have mentioned, these arrangements exist on a few rivers and typically provide highly restricted and inadequate access. However, the government research for canoe access on the Rivers Mersey and Waveney has produced principles and a benchmark for VAAs; forming the basis of government policy for access to inland waters to be achieved by the voluntary route. CE believes that this should be applied as the national standard for VAAs. The research has demonstrated that it is possible to achieve;



    • All year round access supported by an Access Code outlining responsibilities of all water users.
    • Environmental protection as appropriate eg setting mutually agreed minimum river levels.
    • Respect flora, fauna, and other users
    • Identified sites for launching and landing
    • Publicity and information dissemination of VAAs



    CE takes a pragmatic view of Access Arrangements. The CE revised Position Statement for the Shared Use of inland waters has provisions for entering into AA’s and fulfils the criteria of government for AA policy. Namely, they should be developed on a joint local management basis that helps to protect the natural environment and respect the rights of other user interests. It also understands and caters for the need of some individuals, or small organisations to have AAs to ensure they have a greater certainty of access at a particular time and place. Our Position Statement also evidences how Government policy for AA’s has failed i.e. Rivers Teme and Wear.
    For AAs to work they are dependent on other water users and the riparian owners commitment for secure access managed on a self regulatory management basis. It is unrealistic to expect an organisation such as CE to have powers to enforce canoeists to abide by AA’s. Many canoeists are independent of CE and we encourage all to follow the guidelines of such arrangements


    The River Greta in Cumbria is an excellent example of how organisations including the Environment Agency, National Trust can work with river users to ensure government standards to Access Arrangements/Agreement are adhered to. Paddling on the Greta takes place throughout the year but takes into account the environmental considerations such as water levels as well as other users including anglers.


    VAAs as on the Greta are an instrument that provides a certainty of shared use and access without conflict. Canoe England has asked to work with the Angling Trust on a number of occasions and to identify where they see potential access arrangements working. We have not received a satisfactory response for further discussions on this subject.


    I would finally like to draw your attention to the comment ‘Canoe England who mainly represent canoe sports and coaching’. This is incorrect as CE Members predominantly consists of recreational paddlers.
    http://www.davidwperry.blogspot.co.uk/

  56. #176
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Bucks
    Posts
    6,646

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by David Perry View Post
    We need to understand what is meant by riparian rights? If this means they ‘own’ the bed and the bank of one side that means they own the bed and bank upto half way across the river. If they own both sides then they own the whole of the bed and bank of that section of river.
    This is no longer considered to be the default position by the Land Registry. A riparian owner is merely one who owns land adjacent to the river, the ownership of the river bed needs to be further demonstrated to the registry rather than simply assumed.

  57. #177
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Robin Hood's Bay,Yorkshire
    Posts
    2,635

    Default

    Well Adrian that's what I got from CE! And their probably still the line followed by many legal specialists in land management/fishing management and so on. Not that I'm disagreeing or anything but its clear from this whole access point of view, is that depending on where you are coming from its perfectly possible to have two or more totally opposite and established views.

    But, following the general point of this whole thread now meant that at least the head of the BMF has taken his time to do something, no matter how little is just another feather in the cap for us, no matter how small the feather actually is. Its good PR for us isn't it?
    http://www.davidwperry.blogspot.co.uk/

  58. #178
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Burton on Trent
    Posts
    452

    Default

    The law is crystal clear and the House of Lords has already ruled in our favour. The following is an extract from my submission to the Welsh Government.

    Inquiry into Access to Inland Water in Wales
    Evaluation of the SPLASH Grant Scheme Voluntary Access Agreements 2008-2012 (response attached)


    I am writing to you in relation to the above documents to inform you of three simple facts that could have saved a good deal of confusion and public money spent on the wild goose chase over Voluntary Access Agreements which have a 50 year history of failure. Since this may impact on a number of departments I have circulated it to all those I think may be affected. You may wish to ask your Counsel General to check the legal stuff. The facts are:-



    1. The public right of navigation on any unregulated watercourse may be determined as a matter of fact and current case law gives us two simple tests.
    2. Fish Legal can produce no legislation or case law to support their assertion that fishing rights give fishermen any say in navigation.
    3. Navigation rights are superior to fishing rights.



    These are the result of two years study and actions to test the results of those studies. I will present my actions in Dovedale as a model for opening watercourses for recreational use.


    I am not a lawyer but I am dyslexic, left of centre on the autistic spectrum, and read books on higher categoric logic for the laughs. These things do not make me the life and soul of the party but they do give me the skill set to cut through complexities which neurotypical persons find baffling.


    Public right of navigation


    We know as a matter of fact that there was a public right of navigation on all rivers between 1297 and 1472 because king Edward IV and his Parliament told us so in the 1472 Act for Wears & Fishgarths, attached.


    Mr Justice Lightman [Rowland v EA] ruled that as long as the watercourse flowed this PRN could only be extinguished by legislation or exercise of statutory powers. He also gave us a method. Examine the public record and ask two questions.



    1. Did anyone have statutory powers and were they exercised?
    2. Has there been any legislation?



    The current case law is given by Lord Wilberforce [Wills' Trustees v Cairngorm Canoeing and Sailing School Ltd, 1976] who sets out some general principles of law relating to public rights of navigation.
    I have referred to these cases drawn from different systems of law, to support the existence of a rule, which is really one of the common law of nations, resting ultimately upon facts and needs, not confined to any one place or time, that the use of a river, according to its natural quality and capacity, for downstream floating is recognised by law, and to support the use of broad and liberal principle for the statement and application of the rule”
    The interaction of natural and visible capacity for use with human exploitation thus produces by inevitable process a segregation between rivers of public use and other rivers or streams which have not the character of public use.”
    Which in summary states that the public right of navigation is almost a universal human right and that its existence may be determined, as a matter of fact, by visual inspection of the stream's capacity. The generality of the wording prevents the argument that this only applies to Scottish law.


    This is fully in accord with the affirmation of the common law public right of navigation on all rivers affirmed by the 1472 Act.


    The question to ask is


    Does it look like you could float a canoe in it?


    If yes, then the PRN exists as a matter of fact
    If no, there is no PRN with respect to a canoe. However, there may be a PRN with respect to a rubber duck.


    The view put forward by anglers is based on the restatement in commentaries and law text books of the doctrine originally stated by Humphrey Woolrych in 1830. However, the law is not to be found in such places which are only unaccountable persons writing about the law. The law itself is to be found in legislation and case law.


    Reliance on the Woolrych doctrine is unsafe for the following reasons:-



    1. Comments in commentaries and textbook entries are not legislation or the exercise of statutory powers so may not extinguish a PRN.
    2. The Woolrych doctrine is unsupported by case law. Bourke v Davis which is sometimes cited was rejected as misleading by the House of Lords in AG v Brotherton, 1990.
    3. It is based on a series of errors highlighted by Rev Dr Caffyn.
    4. It was contrary to the legislation in force in 1830 , 1472 Act for Wears & Fishgarths.
    5. It is contrary to current case law.



    Given a PRN, no one has control any more than they do in the street. All anyone can do is advise members of the public if they should choose to listen.


    Fishermen controlling navigation


    Fish Legal can produce no legislation or case law to support their assertion that fishing rights give fishermen any say in navigation. Rawson v Peters was decided on the question of disturbance of fish, for which there is now no objective evidence as a result of research carried out by the NRA and EA. Lord Denning made a clear separation from the question of control of navigation by refusing an injunction but giving leave for application to be made to the County Court. He is also stated as saying that had there been a PRN then the fishermen would just have to put up with the disturbance.
    Mark Lloyd, the President of Fish Legal, ran away from the Guardian online blog when challenged to show in black and white where it says that fishing rights give powers to control navigation. http://www.theguardian.com/environme...&commentpage=1 go to the blog pages.


    It would be a wise precaution to ask anyone claiming to control navigation to demonstrate that they have the legal authority to do so. That is, show where it says so in black and white in legislation or case law. They will attempt to just cite the names of cases without showing anything of their content.


    For example, where did the Wye and Usk Foundation, as an environmental charity, acquire the right to say when and where navigation may take place? Such interference with a PRN is a public nuisance [Tate and Lyle v GLC and PLA] and so incompatible with their charitable status. I have served them with notices asserting the PRN on the Wye and the Usk. When they fail to show that the PRN has been extinguished and continue their unlawful attempts to control navigation I shall take the issue up with Charity Commissioners.


    The apparent confusion concerning the law is due to the egregious confabulations generated by Fish Legal. They know that their position has no basis in law because they have failed to answer my arguments. The law is not confused. All the issues have already been decided in the High Court and the House of Lords. The tactic of the fishermen is to shout their egregious confabulations in the hope that they will browbeat everyone into accepting them. Careful and detailed questioning with demands to demonstrate their authority for what they are saying will cause them to withdraw.


    Navigation the superior right


    Medieval laws, of which the 1472 is an example, clearly established the superiority of navigation by ordering the destruction of fishing installations in favour of navigation. The 1861 Salmon Fisheries Act which repealed many of these laws also recognised the superiority of navigation in the “Saving Clause for Dredging” which exempted dredging and other operations essential to navigation from the provisions of the Act.

    No one, not even the Queen (as the Duchy of Lancaster) has been able to counter the above exposition of the law. I don't know what CE is messing about at with their AA's. They could just assert the PRN as I am doing. You can just imagine them at their AA meetings, "My name is Richard. I am a serial compromiser. My problem is that I don't even want to break my addiction. It is too comfortable."

    Seriously, a lot of these MPs are QCs, ask them why the law is not being enforced.

Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •