Editorial Feb 15


CRT has spent recent months devising a plan and putting resources in place to deal with continuous moorers – a situation it inherited from BW, which was largely supine in the face of a growing issue for many years. An update on the latest enforcement figures is included, and Mike Rodd gives the details of the new proposals and NABO’s support for them in his Chairman’s column. The changes in management at CRT continue, with Simon Salem’s departure in June, following Sally Ash and Nigel Johnson last year. So far, the Board seem to have made a good job of recent appointments with, for example, Dean Davis as Direct Services Manager and Sean Williams building a network of contacts and getting some early successful outcomes in his role as Welfare Officer. We hope that Ian Rogers will be equally successful as the new Head of Customer Services – the post that most directly impacts us boaters, dealing as it does with leisure boating, licensing and enforcement. We sincerely hope he takes on board NABO’s requests for better consultation on, for example, changes to licence terms and conditions and visitor moorings – before they are implemented rather than as an afterthought. He could start by ensuring that all waterway areas adopt best practice, as was done with the K&A consultation, rather than creating antagonism through mismanaged consultations as happened with the L&L link consultation. The latter is reported in this issue, with NABO’s response to the consultation and a letter from Val Duskin.

Away from CRT, the Environment Agency seems to have run into yet more trouble over its plans to get rid of residential River Thames weir- and lock-keepers. Louis Jankel highlights a GMB Union response to a recent EA report, which seems to show a degree of skulduggery worthy of the Tudors (for those who are familiar with Hilary Mantel’s writing). Elsewhere in this issue, there is a timely warning from the BSS of the dangers of burning damp wood on boat stoves, and Mark Tizard and I report on the risks of renting out boats for accommodation, which is increasingly common in London where house prices and rents continue to soar. The message is: if you want to rent out your boat, do it properly or you could end up in serious trouble.

Finally, David Fletcher pays tribute to a wonderful old listed Birmingham pub, the Waggon and Horses, which was the venue for NABO meetings for over 20 years. It has been forced to close because of lack of investment by the brewery owners and the incompetence of the local authority, which allowed a large pub chain to convert the building next door into a new drinking hole …. RIP Waggon and Horses.