HBOS Plc Crest Plc Shareholder Please Help Us LIBS 2006
West Terrace E16 Excel London Twice Picket Position London Boat Show
Fairline Targa London Boat Show Fair Justice Crest Plc?
HRH Princess Anne London International Boat Show 2006
Police Services at Excel for HRH Princess Anne Visit
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HRH The Princes Royal Sails Past at London Boat Show 2006
London Boat Show Early Start Late Finish for Evicted Campaigners for Justice
Excel Exhibition Centre Home of The London International Boat Show
Daily Mail Media Partner at The London Boat Show
27th January 2006
Chair and Vice Chair:-
Sent via Fax to: 01923 201400
Emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tony Hales, Chairman
Dr Campbell Christie CBE, Vice Chairman
Robin Evans BSc, FRICS
Mark Bensted I.Eng, AMIStructE
Derek Cochrane BSc, M.Eng, C.Eng, F.I.C.E
James Froomberg MA
Nigel Johnson BSc (Econ) Solicitor
John Lancaster FCA
Vincent Moran BA FCIPD,
Philip Ridal BEng, FCA, MCT
Simon Salem BA, MBA
Jim Stirling OBE, BSc, MBA, CEng, FICE, MIStructE
Steve Dunlop, Director in Waiting, Scotland
Interim Director, Scotland, John Wallace
Susan Achmatowicz, Richard Bowker CBE, Ian Darling, Professor George Fleming, Helen Gordon, Dr Derek Langslow CBE.
Dear Chair, Vice Chair and all other Directors of British Waterways,
Open Letter and Invitation To British Waterways ‘Stakeholder’
Re - Office of the Deputy Prime Minister
Consultation Paper November 2005
Re - “Security of Tenure for Residential Boats”
With reference to the above, we kindly ask that you would also refer to the following internet website at:
In November 2005, the UK Government released a joint consultation paper for England and Wales via the Office of The Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM), the Government Office that advocates “Creating Sustainable Communities”. The paper is entitled, “Security of Tenure for Residential Boats”, a copy of which can be found at the following internet URL address http://www.odpm.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1161848 . We note that British Waterways (BW), along with the Office of Fair Trading, is listed at page 14, Annex A, “List of key organisations to be consulted”. There again, British Waterways is given special mention within Page 17, Annex C, as a reference to, “Consultation within Government”.
Essentially, the paper is an invitation to hold discussion and contribute comments regarding all the implications of the set proposals, and how such proposals if applied, may affect all stakeholders. This includes, but is not limited to, inviting such discussions regarding “health & safety”, “the use of unfair terms in contracts” and “harassment to leave moorings”. To this extent we believe that our Family has, and is, suffering quite unnecessarily at the hands of others, who appear to have deliberately set out to misrepresent what has taken place. We will return to some of these issues below.
We believe that British Waterways can learn from our awful experiences. Lessons may be learned which may prevent any similar experience ever happening again to any Family, especially with children, and/or/any Houseboat Home or residential boat, anywhere in the UK. We believe that it may also benefit Government, in the wider implications of the matters in consultation.
We kindly acknowledge British Waterways website at the following internet address:-
We note, among other matters, that British Waterways recently launched a ‘new boater’s guide’, at the London International Boat Show at Excel Exhibition Centre in London between 6th and 15th January 2006. We have also made every effort at this same event to invite fellow “stakeholder”, (as listed on the ODPM Consultation Paper Re - “Security of Tenure for Residential Boats”,) namely, the British Marine Federation, to learn from our experience and to be aware of our Family Campaign for Social Justice. A copy of our most recent invitation to the British Marine Federation may be seen at the following internet link.
We confirm that earlier representations were similarly made at the Schroders London Boat Show 2005, with acknowledgments received via Mr. Nigel John, Company Secretary of National Boat Shows Limited, a subsidiary company of the British Marine Federation.
We kindly acknowledge that British Waterways was also represented at the Schroders 2004 London Boat Show, and that the show was attended by James Grazebrook, President of the British Marine Federation, Robin Evans, Chief Executive of British Waterways, and Baroness Barbara Young, Chief Executive of The Environment Agency.
We note that Mr. Alun Michael, our own local Member of Parliament, who is informed of our Family Campaign for Social Justice, but was Waterways Minister at the time, was attending the same show, to officially open the 'Waterscape.com Inland Waterways Attraction', an entity of Waterscape.com, which is entirely owned by British Waterways.
It is further acknowledged that in October 2003, the same month in which we were evicted from our Houseboat Home of 14 years, Alun Michael MP, Waterways Minister, and yet again, our local Member of Parliament, launched Waterscape.com Waterside Business Awards, “set up to recognise the businesses and the individuals who have helped renew Britain's inland waterways as a leading leisure destination”.
We kindly refer you to some content of the British Waterways website at the following internet link:-
“Visit London By Water”, 6 January 2006. “The free guide encourages boat owners and hirers to make the most of London 's perfectly placed canals and rivers and use them as a base while exploring the capital and surrounding areas. With many of London 's top attractions only minutes away by tube or foot, visiting London by boat is the perfect way of staying close to the action without the expense of hotel bills.”
As well as the guide being free at the most recent London Boat Show, British Waterways website provides further free advice stating, ““London 's waterways offer a wonderful mix of wildlife, history, life and vitality. From the tranquillity and natural beauty of the River Stort to the industrial heritage of the Regent's Canal, London's waterways offer an alternative view of the capital and a place to escape if it all gets too much.” said Gareth Stephens, Boating Manager for London.”
Unable to escape our present circumstances, we believe that British Waterways ‘Business Manager for Boating in London’, Mr. Gareth Stephens, is indeed the same Mr. Gareth Stephens who was in the employ of Crest Nicholson Marinas Limited, an erstwhile and wholly owned subsidiary company of Crest Plc, the corporate from whom we seek Social Justice in our Family Campaign.
You will be aware that Mr. Gareth Stephens was Marina Manager at Penarth Marina in Cardiff Bay, “Europe’s Most Exciting Waterfront Development”, in Wales. This was at the time our Family and Houseboat suffered a terrifying night-time grounding and toppling incident, undisputedly caused by Crest Nicholson Marinas Limited, when Ms. Shalom was also eight months pregnant. Although not a BW Director, we believe that Mr. Gareth Stephens, free from the employ and duties of service of a Crest Plc subsidiary, may be able, and should be encouraged by British Waterways, to contribute his crucial experience into the present issues in consultation with BW and the UK Government.
We cordially invite British Waterways and all Directors, to learn from our appalling situation and join us in our Family Campaign for Social Justice. We believe that in any event, British Waterways would be keen to support Corporate Social Responsibility and Responsible Business Practice, and to this extent, we have already made similar invitation to HRH Prince Charles, President of Business In The Community. This is an organisation of over 700 of the top UK companies who also boast of such advocacy upon their internet website at http://www.bitc.org.uk/index.html.
Accordingly, the Shalom Family Campaign for Social Justice invites British Waterways and/or, any director of same, to make immediate arrangements to meet with our Family.
We are prepared to openly discuss and refer to our records in our dealings with Crest Nicholson Marinas Limited and the following:- Quay Marinas Limited, Crest Plc, Cardiff Harbour Authority, the Health & Safety Executive, Bristol Channel Marine Insurance Consultants LLP, the Vale of Glamorgan Council, South Wales Police, the Marine Accident Investigation Branch of the Maritime Coastguard Agency, the Royal National Lifeboat Institute, and any other third party, in connection with our Houseboat M V Picton, and its/and our, Family eviction from Penarth Marina, in Cardiff Bay, by Crest Nicholson Marinas Limited.
Please bear in mind that all submissions in response to the Government’s joint consultation paper must be made to:-
Mr John Connell
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister
London SW1E 5DU
Telephone 020 7944 4400
Undoubtedly, British Waterways will want to take its part to secure the best possible outcome in the consultation exercise and forthcoming submissions to Mr. John Connell and/or the ODPM. Please be advised that submissions are to be received no later than 21st February 2006, and you are kindly informed that such response may also be made instantly via Email to Mr. Connell at John.Connell@odpm.gsi.gov.uk
Finally, we must return to our earlier comments regarding “health & safety”, “the use of unfair terms in contracts”, “harassment to leave moorings”, misrepresentation of the record, etc. For the benefit of doubt and clarification, we must also inform you of the following matters which are documented to the record:-
• Our Houseboat ‘M V Picton’ was insured at the time of the night-time grounding and toppling ‘accident’, undisputedly caused by Crest Nicholson Marinas Limited.
• Our insurance was arranged through “Specialist Marine Insurance Consultants”, namely, British Marine Federation Member, Bristol Channel Marine Insurance Consultants LLP, but in the circumstances, it proved to be completely ineffective.
• Any “marina regulations” which we transgressed were not in any way because of something, which we wilfully, and/or, deliberately, caused to be done.
• Post accident, it was identified (by virtue of a commissioned ‘Yacht Brokers & Designers Surveyors Association, ‘Damage Inspection Report’) that our Home had sprung a leak. Crest Nicholson Marinas Limited, endorsed by Crest Plc, wilfully prevented us from fixing such condition, and thereby, knowingly prevented us from gaining insurance for our vessel.
• Consequently, this created a situation in which it would appear that we were deliberately and wilfully breaking marina rules, regarding marina - minimum insurance requirements.
• Pertaining to these facts alone, Crest Nicholson Marinas Limited, endorsed by parent company Crest Plc., presented a case of a ‘breach of contract’, refused to accept our repeated attempts to pay our mooring fees, (3 times) and prosecuted our Family upon the ‘jumped up’ and artificially created charge of ‘Trespass’.
• However “Competent” a Court may be, we believe that sometimes a Court may not always be able to deliver competent justice. This is totally dependant on the equality, fairness and content of the case being presented before it, of both parties, namely the Claimant and the Defendant, and the way in which the case is able to be heard before the Court. It is also a matter of conduct in accordance with the rules and regulations of the British Judicial System.
• Please note that a Barristers’ full legal opinion for our defence was gained and entered into Court by our appointed solicitors at the time, who believed that the case and circumstances would merit legal assistance. We kindly inform you that our formal application for legal assistance in this matter was eventually refused, but only upon the grounds of financial eligibility as Ms. Shalom’s receipt of a full student loan, was considered in the calculations of the total Family income. It was deemed that our Family earned too much, despite the obvious matter that the student loan is just that, a loan, to be repaid!
• At no time were we given opportunity of meeting with the Barrister or talked-through the filed defence and consequently we had little understanding of our legal defence as submitted to the Court. We appeared at Court without a Barrister. We considered this position as untenable, and accordingly we were unprepared to speak in reference to a language which we could not understand. We were not willing to risk causing prejudice to our defence as filed but we understood from our appointed solicitor, that the case was pursued and filed with, “Unfair Terms of Contract”, in mind.
• In view of what we believe is the apparent total failure of fair and just access to the protection of our Fundamental Human Rights via the British Legal System, (and all consequences that this entails) we have made personal delivery of further appeal with our five daughters to Mr. Tony Blair, Prime Minister, at No. 10 Downing Street, London. The matter has since been referred to the Department for Constitutional Affairs and the enquiry is still ongoing, but you may read the present response received from HJR Hochfelder, of the Judicial Correspondence Unit at the following:- http://www.mvpicton.co.uk/department_for_constitutional_affairs_20th_july_05.htm
• We understand that The Office of Fair Trading has since successfully prosecuted Crest Nicholson Marinas Limited using the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations (1999) which can be seen at http://www.crw.gov.uk/Undertakings+and+court+action/Publish+Public/1786_1.htm
• BMF Member (via Cardiff County Council) Cardiff Harbour Authority has yet to explain what it considered to be its duty of care towards us, in permitting Crest Nicholson staff, free access to ram our Home, disturb, and/or, remove emergency deployed anchors, whilst it was upon the waters of Cardiff Bay.
• Cardiff Harbour Authority has yet to explain their full role, in the events and circumstances, particularly in, ‘looking the other way’, which it played in the eviction process of our Home from Penarth Marina and the events and circumstances surrounding the eventual seizure of our Home and personal possessions from Cardiff Bay.
• At the time of writing, we have still not received any of our Family personal private possessions, seized with our Houseboat Picton, in the 3 am night-time seizure operation, of 21st April 2004, from Cardiff Bay, Wales.
We believe our invitation represents a great opportunity for British Waterways Directors and Licence Holders to learn. Subject to a meeting with our Family who, we believe, has been so wronged, BW may be able to contribute something positive to Central Government, towards the “security of tenure” debate for residential boats in the United Kingdom.
We hope you will accept our invitation and look forward to hearing from you in the immediate sense.
Marie Louise and Vincent Shalom with our daughters,
Hannah 14, Naomi 12, Rachel 8, Rebekah 7 and Jessica 5.