100 signatures reached
To: The Canal & River Trust
Charity should be charitable
No UK Charity should have the power to make people homeless, or to threaten anyone with homelessness.
We, the undersigned, will not donate money to The Canal & River Trust because it routinely threatens people who live on their boats, with homelessness, and attempts to make people homeless.
We ask that the Canal & River Trust change its policies so that it behaves more charitably towards vulnerable people. People who live on their boats should be policed by the police and their local authority, in the same way as all other travelling people.
It is not appropriate that any charity be a license issuer with an enforcement department, and in a position to benefit financially from how it chooses to interpret the law. We ask for immediate action to turn The Canal & River Trust into a more inherently charitable organisation, by putting its legal powers into more appropriate hands.
Why is this important?
Boaters who move every fourteen days are acting legally and should be left in peace.
No one should have to endure the fear and trauma of being needlessly threatened with homelessness. No charity should be in the business of harassing and threatening members of the public, and boaters should have the same rights as all other travelling people. It is not an acceptable use of public money to spend it taking people to court to try and take their homes from them.
Many boaters are retired and have limited funds. There are boaters who are key workers and cannot afford to live in regular accommodation. Some boaters are disabled, others have families. Those who move every 14 days are entitled to live and travel on the canal, and do so perfectly legally, yet The Canal & River Trust harasses such people regularly. They threaten to take away the boat license, then to take the boater to court and take their boat from them. If your boat is your home and your only major asset, this is a terrifying prospect. If they take your boat, they can sell it for a profit and you get nothing.
The Canal & River Trust pressures liveaboard boaters to take permanent moorings. Most moorings do not have planning permission for residency, so if you live on your boat, a mooring is mostly something you cannot use. The Canal & River Trust owns many of the available moorings and benefits financially from pressuring boaters into taking moorings. In other circumstances, using threats to pressure someone into paying you for something they do not really need and cannot use, just to avoid some threatened outcome, is called a protection racket. This hardly seems like good, charitable activity.