The Middle Level Commissioners, the land drainage authority for over 120 miles of The Fens waterways, have been working to change the laws under which they operate, effectively to ensure that in future all boaters will have to pay a licence fee, have a BSS certificate and are insured. The original bye laws date back to 1875.
When debated by the House of Lords, NABO publically supported the Bill in principle but felt strongly that there should be the provision for an agreed minimum level of facilities and visitor moorings.
NABO was most pleased that this commitment has been accepted in full, see this letter of undertaking.
The draft of new bye laws supplied to us in October 18 is here.
The Middle Level web pages are here
CRT operate a number of important "advisory groups" covering a range of different areas from freight and navigation to volunteering and heritage. These are committees set up to provide a consultation body for CRT discuss proposals, policy and performance. For boaters the "Navigation Advisory Groups" or NAGs are the relevant committee.
NAG comprises boaters with a variety of backgrounds to bring as broad a range of perspectives as possible to decision making. These representative are appointed in their own right, and not as orgaisational representatives. Never the less they are expected, where available, to bring the wider knowledge of boating organisations to the meeting.
There are two parts to NAG, and a NABO Council member is appointed to both parts.
NABO campaigns extensively on mooring strategies. This is a significant issue, and is guaranteed to gather wide views, regardless of boating patterns. Everybody wants a good safe mooring near that pub, shop, car park or remote spot in the country. Towns, villages and canalside venues want visitor moorings so that customers can come and go. And they also want enough boats to provide a destination venue for non boating visitors. Liveaboards want moorings near to service, amenity and transport links. And nobody wants long lines of boat to pass at tickover. So not an easy issue.
NABO recently overturned most of the SE moorings strategy because it was not evidence based. The restrictions proposed were based on complaints by a few, and these did not stand up to challenge. CRT had failed to record available space on visitor moorings. NABO established that the proposals were unnecessary.
To keep up with all this NABO has a mooring officer Mark, also vice Chairman at the moment and NAG member.
NABO sends out a short electronic bulletin every month to members who provide an email address. This covers a summary of the latest waterways news and consultations, representation events that officers attended, membership information and the like. As far as possible we include links to web sources, and this enables members to be selective about reading, and not to be bombarded with unwanted information.
Fast communication is important these days. The bulletin enables NABO to inform and stay in touch with the membership quickly. It complements NABO News, and is not intended to duplicate or replace it.
You can see past bulletins here.