Via Email: 3 July 2020
To: Sir James Bevan, Chief Executive, The Environment Agency
Dear Sir James
Illegal Moorings on the Thames in Elmbridge – “Slumboats”
I am writing to you as a last resort to seek your intervention to resolve a seemingly intractable problem of illegally moored boats along the Thames in Elmbridge. Many of the offending vessels are unsightly, have no means of propulsion and are let out as low grade temporary accommodation. Local people refer to them as “slumboats” and our collective efforts to remove them have become a source of frustration and wry amusement.
This has been a long-standing issue which infuriates our residents and visitors to the area and, despite on-going efforts by my Council and your officers, most enforcement initiatives are viewed by the majority as wholly ineffective. This is not only doing both our organisations serious reputational damage but, even more significantly, the vessels in question are a river hazard, they attract anti-social behavior and to say they are unsightly doesn’t begin to cover it. I attach a photograph of a single example which I think makes the point (taken 18 months ago and it is all still there).
I am now asking you to prioritise this issue for Elmbridge. My residents have had more than enough of engagement and discussion, they want to see quick and assertive action – and they want all the offending boats removed as soon as possible.
I would be grateful if you would place your full authority behind much stronger EA enforcement action and facilitate the clearance of the illegally moored vessels along riverbank from Weybridge to Hampton Court.
Councillor Stuart Selleck
Leader, Elmbridge Borough Council