The Council is responsible for the appointment of trustees, helping to shape policies and providing guidance and perspective to trustees. Election of 28 new Council members is now underway. Candidates and their manifestos were published on 25th November and licence holders will receive an email link to enable them to vote from 20th January to 14th February. Posts will run for four years from March.

In reality, private boaters have a chance to elect just four representatives, so only have a small voice on the Council and little real influence. But, it is a chance to interact with CRT directors and trustees and seek to get boaters’ views heard, as well as hearing about CRT’s latest strategic thinking. This, in NABO’s view, is the most important aspect and why we would urge you to vote. NABO is very disappointed to learn that the Association of Waterway Cruising Clubs (AWCC), essentially a mooring provider, was nominated to CRT Council as a ‘boaters’ representative’, which is simply not the case. The IWA and the AWCC each have a nominated seat, yet their members also get a vote. This year, roving traders have been told that, for the purpose of the election, they are now to be treated as private boaters, which is also blatantly not the case. They are no longer businesses and must vote for, and be represented by, private boaters. NABO’s view is that private boaters’ representation has been diluted by this and that the roving traders have been marginalised for no reason. It appears that all this was not consulted upon and it is regarded by boaters as a big step backwards. It has since been confirmed that these decisions were made by the Trustees and not proposed by CRT.

For the last three years, only two Council members, Stella Ridgway and Andy Tidy, used social media to inform boaters about the discussions at Council meetings they attended. We would urge you to vote for the candidate that undertakes to keep you informed and seek your opinions. Specifically NABO is supporting Helen Hutt, who we believe is an excellent candidate. Please give her your vote; if you have any questions for Helen she can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Full details of the elections can be found on CRT’s website at https://canalrivertrust.org.uk and search ‘Council elections’