Meeting between Andrew Mills and Peter Moore CRT Liaison 3rd October 2018
1. RCTA was seeking to simplify market booking arrangements
* block bookings with CRT
* a single representative to manage booking arrangements
* to submit a maximum mooring length for each venue that could be adjusted to reflect actual bookings taken nearer * the date of the market
* carry out a generic risk assessment for all markets
* identify CRT list of conditions for specific markets earlier so that they could be included in terms and conditions of market attendance and more effectively managed
I outlined the problems RCTA were having with lots of to-ing and fro-ing between Ronni Payne and Chris Stanley and the repetitive time consuming bureaucracy. There were lots of delays in approvals. It was essential we knew further ahead that markets had been approved so traders could make a cruising plan. PM apologised for any late approvals this year which he felt were due to the recent changes in which CRT regions covered what area and associated personnel changes.
This agenda item became subsumed into a wider discussion concerning an upcoming meeting with Sarah Brown, Development and Engagement Manager at CRT. I had written to Gareth Stevens National Boating Business Manager at CRT the previous month requesting a review of how RCTA liaises with CRT once Peter Moore retired next year. RCTA wished to explore the best place for liaison with the Trust to reflect the changes at CRT in terms of personnel and their new purpose and objectives. This had resulted in a suggestion that we should be liaising with the Engagement & Development Team. Ronni and I were scheduled to meet Sarah Brown the following week to discuss this. PM confirmed that most of the issues listed above were likely to find answers as a result of this meeting. He also said that CRT were formulating an events strategy and this is likely to cover CRT arrangements with floating markets. He confirmed that Sarah Brown agreed that a ‘pop up’ became an ‘event’ as soon as it was publicised as an event. A ‘pop up’ advertised by an individual trader on their Facebook page which might mention in passing other traders in the locality was not considered to be an ‘event’.
2. Street Licence issue.
PM apologised but this issue had dropped under the radar. He had spoken to the head solicitor at CRT who was sorry but the person who had been allocated the task of dealing with this had left CRT and oversight of the issue had been lost. However, it was an active concern for CRT as it was cropping up more and more. PM’s own understanding is that the towpath is a ‘private’ space belonging to CRT and not a public space so there shouldn’t be a problem for roving traders but there could be issues where there are historical local bye-laws affecting the towpath which CRT may not know about or where the towpath is a public right of way. The issue is now back on their agenda.
3. Any Problems?
PM reiterated that overstaying on moorings by traders was still an issue. This time he had been asked by Gareth Stevens National Boating Business Manager to raise the issue which made me wonder whether there was a serious issue somewhere. Specifics were not mentioned. He asked me to remind RCTA members that the time spent on moorings was the same for traders as for normal boaters. The terms and conditions are the same except where a floating market has been arranged. PM suggested that complaints only seemed to be crop up where traders were selling food or alcohol and felt that waterside businesses were the most likely to make a complaint if a trader overstays. Audlem continues to be a hot bed of complaints.
4. Any other business.
I asked whether there was any possibility that RCTA could sponsor a ‘hovel’ on the towpath as a permanent promotion/display of roving trader members and their activities. We could look after the building and open it as and when a volunteer members was in the area. PM could not see why this could not be a possibility.
Andrew Mills ()