Conservatives strengthen powers to remove illegally moored boats
Conservative Councillors have recently passed a motion that will see the council's powers to remove illegally moored boats strengthened after a spate of complaints from residents by the riverside.
Kingston is a popular mooring location, however numerous itinerant vessels routinely moor along sections of the river bank where mooring is not permitted. Whatsmore vessels are also frequently overstaying on the permitted 24 hour moorings. Over the last year alone 111 notices have been served against approximately 12 boats and owners.
Over the last few years it has become clear that these powers need to be strengthened. Currently unlawfully moored vessels can be issued with an enforcement notice which requires vessels to move on within a set time period of one month. Typically, owners only move on just before the end of the month period, and often return after a few days.
Currently if vessels do return, or if they move to or moor on another Council owned riverbank in the Borough, the process must start again with the service of a fresh notice and another period of a month to move on.
But now local Conservatives have moved to strengthen these powers. The improvements that they've delivered will allow the Council to amend and widen the notices served on unlawfully moored vessels and include a provision that any further unlawful mooring on Council owned or managed land within 6 months of the service of the notice, will be considered non-compliance.
Local Conservatives also sought to clarify and strengthen enforcement options, processes and procedures which could include seeking court injunctions against persistent unlawful mooring offenders.
Cllr Andrea Craig, Chair of the Residents Committee said,
I'm pleased that the Council has taken action to strengthen its powers to remove illegally moored boats. Kingston is a popular destination with the river being one of the main attractions for those who live and visit here.
These new powers are vital to ensuring that boats which are moored illegally can be moved on by the council strengthening powers which in the past were inefficient. We know that residents and visitors value our green spaces and riverside highly, and we intend to keep these spaces clean and safe, for the enjoyment of all. illegally moored boats are a menace and do not have a place in our Borough.