NABO Council elections

Dear friends

At yesterday's first full meeting of NABO Council, the officers were appointed for the coming year.

These are:

Chairman - David Fletcher (no change)
Vice Chairman - Howard Anguish (was Stuart Sampson)
General Secretary - Richard Carpenter (no change)
Treasurer - Stephen Peters (no change)

Other members of Council are:

Simon Robins - Moorings (no change)
John Slee - Continuous Cruising (no change)
Geoffrey Robinson - Legal Affairs (no change)
Andy Colyer -  Environmental (no change)
Sue Burchett  - Minute Secretary (new Council member, was previously Chairman )

This makes 9 members with a maximum of 12.

The NABO News Editor is Stuart Sampson, who is not on Council (was also Vice Chairman)

E mail addresses will be updated shortly, but the 09 series remain valid at present.

The names of Regional Secretaries will be updated shortly, and I am pleased to say that the vacancies have been filled.

(Don't let that stop you volunteering to attend user group meetings.)

The Council meeting on Saturday was a very long one, with much to talk about and plan.

This year will be an important one for the canals, with many funding, political and legal issues before us.

Please support your Council with your thoughts and opinions. Council cannot represent you if they don't know what is wanted and needed.

Stuart has kindly agreed to continue to edit our magazine until into next year, but there is an end date in mind.

We do need a member or group of members to come forward now, to help with this task.

There are 6 magazines per year, following Council meetings.

It is not essential that the editor has all the desk top publishing skills, although that is clearly ideal.

We could buy in this service if it was needed.

Please get in touch if you can help.

I have posted my report made to the 2009 AGM below.

Council thank you for your continued support and confidence



Chairman’s report 18th Annual General Meeting

I see five main areas of campaign initiative for NABO for discussion today.

   1. Funding for BW, and potential sell off of assets
   2. The BW 2020 vision
   3. Current Moorings consultation by BW and their plans for enforcement – lip service or genuine?
   4. Legal Challenge to BW
   5. Waterways Condition Survey

I am not going to talk about them in my report, as they will most likely be extensively discussed in the free sessions after the formal AGM proceedings. I shall concentrate on the organisation issues that I see before us.

My elevation to chairman was a very sudden a year ago and I have to give my thanks to Council for their support during the year, and particularly to Stuart, who has mentored me though the year.

It was apparent to me that Council has a concern to maintain contact with membership, and taking their views into account. There are several ways this is done, being NABO News, electronic bulletins, the web site, and in return, members letters, calls, e mails and waterway contacts. Council welcomes all input, even criticism. All input is very useful, both positive and negative. The members comments are regularly circulated around council, discussed at meetings and do influence thinking and actions. We have trialled  this year with surveys, and we have to ask, is this effective? Are members prepared to take part? Experience shows that we are getting around 100-150 returns, which is statistically good. But many are not “on line” and miss out on this. I ask should we have a stand at the IWA National?

I have encouraged working with other waterways user groups this year, particularly the similar sized ones like RBOA, TBA, DBA. But also IWA and AWCC. There is some  duplication of effort with so many interests and user groups and we are co-operating to try and avoid this, and offer a common face to the Navigation Authorities. I do not think that NABO should be in competition with other groups for membership, we each have our special interests and can work alongside each other. As an example of this, Howard attendants IWA Navcom meetings, sharing initiatives like the waterways condition survey, input to moorings consultations etc.  As the funding issue for the waterways gets more serious, there is a need for joint approaches and possible mergers of groups and organisations to focus the effort to get the message across to politicians and the general public? The coming General Election is an important chance for us all to say what we think to our own MPs.

Having seen the other organisations working, and being a member of several, I can see how special NABO is. We are knowledgeable group covering the country with contacts, and history. We can move quickly to respond and muster help if needed. We have a wide range of experience, and this enables us to operate effectively. And we have the passion for the waterways. And we are the only group dedicated to the interests of boat owners.

There are many issues for the new Council to deal with, and we have to set priorities and focus efforts. Several occasions this year when we have been unable to get attendance at user meetings and this is a regret. We do need more members to come forward to help. I have asked several times in NN for this, and I have not been overwhelmed with offers.

The immediate tasks needed are:

  • Other council members 3 vacancies.
  • Editor for NN
  • Membership officer
  • Safety representative
  • Attendees for your local user group meetings.
  • Researchers
  • Membership recruiters

There are tasks for all, not necessarily front line. These can be one off activities or repeats, either at home or travelling or on line. We do need more of the membership to get involved; if we don’t use our collective strength, we will simply lose it through apathy. The idea is not to bury people in activity that they do not enjoy but to find tasks that members can enjoy, to help the membership. Council do great work and it is limited at the moment by the time each of us is prepared to give, which is already a lot. Spreading the workload can be done and will help.

Our association membership is an issue. We had plans this year to try and turn this around but time has defeated us. It will be back on the agenda again in the coming year. Please do your bit and find at least one new member each, particularly the younger ones. Our membership is predominantly on BW canals and we are accused of being focused on this. This is a bit inevitable. We cannot offer credible the knowledge and representation on some areas, like the Medway , the Broads and coastal waters. For me it is mistake to try at this time, and it is another good example of where we can benefit working with other user groups who do cover these areas.

This year a number of long served members are standing down. Peter Foster has been a member for, and this year has come to the point where he has resigned and will not longer represent us. Tony Haynes is also standing down as a Thames representative, and safety rep. but continues as a member. Brian Rowland has been on council to assist with the web site this year, and he is standing down from council.

Stuart Sampson is also standing down from council. We all owe an enormous amount to Stuart, I can tell you he is a tough act to follow, He has given an immense amount to NABO over the years. He has promised to do just a few more NNs but we have to find a solution to the role of editor very quickly. We all owe him a great deal.

My have to express we own thanks to Council and membership for their support and input during the year.

This concludes my report