Steps are being taken by the Environment Agency Registration Team to allow licences (Visitor and Annual) to be purchased on line. The aim is to reduce operating costs and make the process easier. Also to encourage small visitor craft to be registered rather than just launched. It is envisaged the 12 month licence will be a rolling 12 month, (rather like a motor vehicle) than by whole financial year.
Capital Investment / East Farleigh Lock
The budget for capital investment for 2015 to 2016 for Rye and Medway has been reduced to £300k. The consequence is East Farleigh Lock will not be refurbished / re-built in the near future. Minor works will be possible to keep this lock operational.
Electric Launch Trips for parties of up to 12 persons are to be run in Tonbridge from Easter 2015.
Details and bookings please phone 07985 273070 or www.tonbridgerivertrips.co.uk
Please don’t forget the existing boat trip businesses Allington Belle Tel.01622 661064 and Kentish Lady 01622 753740
Building of the Dredger is progressing well at Manor Marine Ltd (Dorset). It is envisaged handover to the Environment Agency will be by May 2015. It is planned this Dredger will work 6 months in the Medway and 6 months on other local projects such as the Royal Military Canal.
Toilet / Shower Blocks
The new toilet / Shower block is progressing well and should be open for this season. A £2.00 charge will be made for boaters using this facility. It is likely the locked compound gate will be removed. The management / control is very much a wait and see exercise, as costs (cleaning, hot water, etc..) need to be covered but it is not planned this facility will be for general public use.
If the Yalding Toilet / Shower Block is successful then it is possible a similar project will be implemented at Tonbridge.
It is planned a new Medway Map showing the river and other important details will be printed on water resistant paper. This will possibly be part funded by local businesses and clubs. EFCC has committed to a donation of £250 minimum towards this cost.
The Bathymetric Medway Survey has now been completed and is available to view. This is a large and detailed document of several large sheets (too much detail to email). This is available to view but please give the Allington Lock Keeper plenty of warning, so the information can be made available. I found this very interesting and certainly detailed some of the shallows with good accuracy! Some shallows will impossible to dredge due to the hard Iron Stone rock which forms the river bed.
Canon Lane Public Moorings
Tonbridge and Malling Council have been charging the Environment Agency business rates for these moorings of approximately £500 per annum. The Environment Agency is considering removing the moorings to save money! If you use these moorings or do not wish to see them removed we may have to lobby Tonbridge and Malling Council to reduce the rates. EFCC have requested the Environment Agency keep the moorings operational.
The Environment Agency is considering running a Boat Jumble at Allington Lock in April or May 2015. Please consult the Allington Lock Webb Site for details and try to support this event.
A talk is to be given by the Medway Valley Country Partnership 28th May 7.00pm at Yalding Village Hall on the effects and identification of Invasive Species. (What’s under your boat?)
Please report any crimes or suspicious behaviour to the police.
From Nick Aish our MRUA rep
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