There are a few issues this week.
Firstly, we are getting good data though on boating costs from the survey and thanks to all those who have responded. But we do need more. We have 30 or so replies and this is not really enough to be statistically meaningful. If you haven't done it, please do take the time to do so. We have more data on boats around 50-60 feet long, so if you have a boat of another size, this is particularly welcome.
This will help us all.
These are the instructions.
It will help you to complete the survey if you gather the following information together in advance. It could then take no more than 10 minutes to complete:
- Actual costs of your Licence, Moorings, Insurance and BSS Certificate (if relevant) for the past 12 months (and previous year, if available).
- Amounts, or estimates, of fuel, gas, coal/wood and routine maintenance costs.
- Enforced extraordinary expenditure such as bottom blacking and major engine repairs.
Please click on this link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/NABOCoBS2009
and enter the password: CoventryBasin (without a space).
The closing date for completion of the Survey is 30th April 2009.
Secondly NABO, have last week received an 18 page document from BW which is a consultation on Moorings and navigation issues.
The main subjects covered are Densities of long term online moorings, Availability of casual moorings for cruising boaters, Non compliant continuous cruisers, Provision of berths for residential use, and Unauthorised residency at leisure moorings. Nothing new here, but at last in one place we have a statement from BW on each subject and some thoughts on the way forward.
Roving moorings are mentioned in outline, and this is the first time we have seen anything from BW on this after tall these months of watching and questioning.
Council spent several hours on the paper at the meeting last Saturday trying to get to grips with the detail, and the structure of it. There is much more to be done this summer.
My initial feeling is that the initiative is good, but there is much detail that we will not be happy about.
Also I think the issues are to some extent treated in isolation, where as in fact they are all closely interrelated. Solving one issue may well make another worse, and pushing both together gets us nowhere.
Howard Anguish will attend the national user group meeting (WUSIG) this week for a first pass at the consultation. This is a very important consultation and the outcome has the potential of affecting everybody on the BW waterways, both from the payment point of view, and the usage of moorings.
Thirdly this is budget week. The significance for the boating world is that the Treasury are to report on the Operational Efficiency Review, which is about management of the property owned by government bodies.
The Treasury have been reviewing amongst other things as to whether they think EA and BW are making best use of their property and JV portfolio.
The fear is that they will recommend a fire sale to raise cash to bale out the cash shortages etc. at the expense of income which pays for the waterways maintenance. I ( I hardly though I would be defending BW commercialisation)
Watch the news and see what happens.