Residential Boat Owners Face High Increase
Licence fees increase fivefold in ten years
Andrew Dakers with Susan Penhaligon and other campaigners against PLA charges
Vincent Cable MP and Cllr Andrew Dakers (Lib Dem Prospective MP for Brentford & Isleworth) are working with actress Susan Penhaligon (famous for the series "Bouquet of Barbed Wire" and more recently appearing in Emmerdale) to highlight the plight of residential boat owners on the Thames faced with massive increases in licence fees from the Port of London Authority (PLA). Susan Penhaligon, who has a boat at Kew Bridge, has launched a campaign with her fellow residential boat owners.
Ms Penhaligon claimed a small group of boat owners in Hounslow in 1995 were paying £1,939 for one riverworks licence. In 2007, after retail price index increases she said it stood at £2,787 – but following a review in 2007, alleged the PLA was demanding £9,400.
Vincent Cable has, so far, held two debates in Parliament on behalf of the 200+ residents in the Twickenham constituency who live on boats, have no security of tenure and are faced with big arbitrary increases in licence fees. He writes this week for the Evening Standard on the subject.
Vincent Cable MP said: "There have been several cases recently of residents on Ducks Walk and Thistleworth Marina facing exorbitant increases in licence fees and this is a pattern up and down the river. There has to be some regulation of this monopoly charging."
Cllr Andrew Dakers, Lib Dem Prospective MP for Brentford & Isleworth, added:"The Port of London Authority may have expertise in managing a commercial port, but they would appear to have little appreciation of the consequences of these exorbitant increases in license fees on ordinary people’s lives. Better regulation of the PLA is now essential and urgently required."
For more information visit www.oplac.org
March 9, 2010