NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BOAT OWNERS

Listening to boat owners, Speaking out for boat owners, Representing boat owners.

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South West

South West Regional report

I attended the meeting of the non-Wales part of the Wales and South West Region chaired by David Hagg, who leads the South West Regional Advisory Board. As is usual now, the concentration was on everything non-boating, but fortunately Ed Helps, a member of the Board and CEO of ABC, did point out that it was essential that the boating activities were recognized as a key source of revenue for CRT! We (about 40 attended in all) were introduced to the members of the Board and it is clear that the bulk are non-canal folk. After a brief introduction by Mark Evans, the Regional Director, covering the activities over the past year, we had lengthy presentations on the multi-million pound work to provide the River Severn with extensive fish passes and also on Gloucester as a regional hub. A useful Q&A session was held at the end with some interesting comments on the situation regarding the Bridgewater docks (where CRT does not intend to continue its lease) and also a useful input from a Claverton Pumping Station volunteer about the lack of support from CRT for the volunteers who keep the station running! There was also a quiet comment that none of the presentations had mentioned anything about CRT’s heritage responsibilities!

Mike Rodd

Yorkshire & North East

Howard reports from the North East

I took part in a Zoom forum in January, which is the first that the Y&NE have held. It was well attended with 42 participants, including a number of CRT managers. These managers were a mix of local and national, and included: Sean McGinley, Regional Director Yorks and North East; Jon Horsfall, Head of Customer Services Support; Mathew Symonds, National Boating Manager, Leisure Boating; and a number of local Y&NE managers.

In the past, I have attended many such meetings and last night’s was probably the best attended for a number of years. In my opinion it was a success. It followed the usual pattern of individual presentations, mainly concerning local issues, with a sprinkling of national subjects as well. The Zoom format allowed questions to be debated throughout the meeting using the chat facility and in that regard it was, if anything, more productive than the traditional meetings. I think the relative success of the meeting may well lead to more Zoom meetings throughout the year, which may allow for local issues to be addressed more quickly. Time will tell.