Consultations, breaches and closures

but Editor, Peter Fellows, also notes some wonderful weather and meaningful meetings

There’s been a lot happening on the waterways since the last NABO News in July. The summer’s weather has allowed marvellous cruising, but the high temperatures and prolonged drought have also caused problems for CRT’s water management. An article by Adam Comerford, CRT’s National Hydrology Manager, explains how the Trust has responded to maintain navigation on the majority of canals in the face of falling reservoir levels.

However, there has also been a series of infrastructure failures across the network, especially in the North West, that have closed canals for long periods throughout the summer, with some closures expected to extend into the winter. In July, the Scottish Government responded to the closure of liftbridges on the Forth & Clyde Canal with a grant to repair them and reopen the canal, although the future of the Scottish Lowland canals remains under threat unless further large-scale funding can be found.

In August, CRT suffered three data breaches that revealed personal data about invitees to its AGM and also 1,270 licence holders, followed shortly afterwards by someone hacking into their system to transfer ownership records of six boats. CRT dealt with the situations quickly and says that there was no disclosure of bank details and little risk of identity fraud, and they have referred the cases to the Information Commissioner’s Office. It was also a summer of consultations, with two reports published; the London Mooring Strategy and the Annual Boaters’ Survey.

We also give NABO’s response to the EA consultation on registration charges, Three Council members met Richard Thomas, the new Regional Director for Wales and the South West, for discussions during a cruise on a K&A trip boat. NABO intends to meet each of the five other Regional Directors over the coming months to explain our concerns about CRT’s direction, a perceived marginalisation of boaters and boating interests, and other aspects of mutual concern, such as getting more young people boating. Also in this issue, Regional Reps, Howard Anguish and Alison Tuck, report on news from their respective patches in the North East and West Midlands, and Howard also looks back at what was happening in NABO in 2003. In Techies’ Corner this month, Tony Brooks has a close look at the best oils for your boat engine and gearbox.

Finally, a reminder that NABO’s AGM this year is at Tamworth Cruising Club on November 11th. Some longstanding Council members are stepping down and there is a greater need than for many years for new blood and new ideas on the Council. So please consider putting yourself forward using the nomination form in this issue— it’s not arduous, it can be fun, and it is important that the waterways continue to have NABO’s voice heard by those in power. I hope to see you at the AGM.