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Human rights defence sunk at unauthorised boat mooring appeal

The owner of a boat who attempted to use his human rights as a defence for flouting bye-laws the Council fought to be introduced was harboured by the High Court on Friday. 

Richmond Council was delighted by the Court’s decision to dismiss Christopher Akerman’s appeal and uphold his convictions at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court in February last year following Council enforcement action.

The 39-year-old said he ignored Richmond Council’s warnings to move his boat because the new bye-laws ‘breached his human rights’. Akerman refused to move his vessel, The Longwood Lady, which he left moored to the Council-owned Ham Lands because the bye-laws breached his ‘right to respect for his home’ and would ‘make him homeless’. Based on this argument he ignored joint enforcement action taken by the Council and Police on four separate occasions from March to June 2015. The Magistrates upheld the enforcement action taken and convicted him of four offences but Akerman lodged an appeal at the High Court.

Richmond Council campaigned on behalf of residents and riverside communities to have greater powers to clampdown on unauthorised mooring. After four years of work the bye-laws were introduced in Richmond in March 2015. The bye-laws mean that if the owner of a boat moors it to Council owned or managed land for more than a set period of time they are committing a criminal offence.  

Richmond Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Pamela Fleming, said:

We have fought hard to stop illegal mooring and this is a victory for the Council and our riverside communities. We are pleased by the High Court ruling as this prosecution has been the first real test of our bye-laws to fight unauthorised mooring.

“The bye-laws have been considered robust by the High Court and these powers will be called upon whenever we need to clampdown on this problem. I hope this conviction sends a clear message to anyone who attempts to illegally moor a boat on our riverside in this way. The Council will not hesitate in taking action against you.”

Following the dismissal of his appeal, Akerman’s convictions on February 1, 2016 for four offences of contravening the bye-laws have been upheld and he is liable to pay the £200 fine (£50 for each offence), £20 victim surcharge and pay the Council £500 in costs originally ordered by the Magistrates’ Court last year.

Feedback from Ham Close consultation now published

Headline results have now been published following a consultation on the proposed redevelopment of Ham Close, including the creation of additional new affordable homes in Ham. 

Over the past three years RHP, in partnership with Richmond Council, has been working with local residents to develop a vision for Ham Close.

At the end of 2016 RHP and the Council held a consultation on the future of the Close. Residents and the wider community had their say on a 425 home scheme. This indicative scheme includes the replacement of the 192 existing homes on Ham Close with new homes for the existing residents as well as an additional 233 homes  including new affordable homes for both rent and shared ownership. 

Over 300 Ham residents took part in the consultation. Overall, more than half agreed that more affordable housing is needed in the Ham area and there was net agreement amongst RHP’s Ham Close customers that a redevelopment of the Close would benefit them and their household, others living on Ham Close and the wider community.

The headline feedback from the consultation has now been published online with hard copies available in Ham Library. Later this month Richmond Council’s Cabinet will consider the information and discuss a recommendation to continue working on developing the scheme including site survey work.  Full results report will be published in due course.

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Jean Loveland

Jean Loveland

Having lived in Ham since 1997 and involved in many community group activities, it seemed a natural step to Jean to become a Councillor, and she was elected in 2014. Jean remains active in local groups, and one of her latest projects is Eel Monitoring at Teddington Lock. She is former Deputy Mayor (2015-2016) and was appointed as the Council's Lead Scrutiny Committee Member for Environment in August 2016.  As Cycling Champion for the Borough she is delighted to have already seen improvements locally.  Jean chairs the quarterly Cycle Liaison Group, which is open to all, and she supports cycling as a mode of transport and not just a healthy exercise.  She also represents the Ward on the Petersham Common ConservatorsA keen environmentalist, Jean feels the challenge as local Councillor is to balance the need for quality open spaces along with the pressures of 21st Century living to ensure we all have a sustainable future. Jean works with Richmond AID and has run a project manned by volunteers to tend the gardens of disabled, vulnerable and older residents in the borough since 2010. She is a Governor at Grey Court and a Patron of Cantanti Camerati.  As a bee keeper for only 4 years, Jean is honing her photographic skills on capturing the life of bees outside the hive.

email email Jean at Cllr.JLoveland@richmond.gov.uk

tel call Jean on 020 8940 8709

Sarah Tippett

Sarah Tippett

Sarah has lived in the Borough for the past 20 years and in Petersham since 2004.  Sarah has represented Ham, Petersham and Richmond Riverside since 2014 and sits on the Planning Committee and Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE).  She is also the Conservative group deputy whip. She represents Richmond on Arts Richmond and Petersham Common Conservators. Sarah is a Governor of St Richard's Church of England Primary school in Ham. Prior to being elected, Sarah was chairman of the Richmond Park and North Kingston Conservative Association. Sarah works in sports television and has four children.  

email

 email Sarah at Cllr.STippett@richmond.gov.uk

tel call Sarah on 020 8940 5709