In 2012, NABO representatives have attended a full range of consultation meetings with DEFRA, BW, then CRT and EA, BSS, NINF, and other user groups etc, both nationally and locally. This is the core work of the Association, monitoring what is going on, reading the papers, listening to the presentations and making considered comments both in writing and at meetings. The year was marked by the launch of the Canal and Rivers Trust, taking over the role of the British Waterways Board.
The NABO is currently active with issues concerning the CRT boaters licence conditions, and also the mooring strategies both nationally and on the K&A, house boat certificates, EU legislation on RCD, BSS and other matters. These sorts of issues will impact on all boaters, whether hiring, owning, home moorings or continuous cruisers and we should not sit idly by whilst changes are made.
The set up of the CRT mid-year has brought opportunities. NABO was involved with candidates for CRT Council and at least three Partnership places, so far without success. The NABO Chairman is a member of the CRT Navigation Advisory Group. This is an advisory body set up by CRT to provide advice on boating matters. There is nothing new about this; the subject matter was covered under BW by the group known as WUSIG and NABO has long been a member of this and BWAF. BWAF will now be replaced by NUF, and NABO has agreed to send a representative. NABO will represent boaters in these important forums.
NABO has tried to maintain relationships with some of the new Trustees, the Executive and the Council boater representatives, and many of these receive NABO News. The Partnership activity is very mixed and all members are asked to monitor what is going on in their areas, and report the good and bad.
The CRT boaters terms and conditions, the legal powers under the various British Waterways Acts and enforcement thereof are a major concern for NABO. NABO constantly monitors events to understand and address issues as they come up, and raise issues with CRT both in formal consultations and other means.
NABO representative attend NNUF, TNUF and other meetings with EA to cover issues on their waters. NABO also contributes to TUGn on the Thames. A DEFRA review will take place in 2013 as to whether EA waters should be transferred to CRT in 2015. This will require attention.
NABO has representatives on all the BSS committees. In the year considerable effort has been made on review of the revised examination requirements, together with the support provided to the BSS team on appeals and new technology.
NABO News remains our main communication with membership and we published 6 times in 2012. The aim is to have a mix of opinion, information and interest, without repeating or competing with the waterways press. Peter Fellows is our Editor and he is always needing comment and articles to fill the pages.
NABO has a web developed by member John Slee. This is a very significant piece of work, and we are steadily working towards electronic management of membership data and well as information management. The website is functioning well and as for NABO news we are always in need of new items. The site feeds to Twitter and Facebook and we continue to use these new areas of communisation.
NABO management Council remains significantly short of the full number of 12. This restricts what can be done, and there have been many occasions where we have not been able to be represented. We are forced to be selective about what we take on. NABO is the sum total of the voluntary effort that is made by members. Please do help.
The NABO 2012 AGM was held in November. The Chairman’s report can be read here.