NABO welcomes BW licence fee proposals for 2010/11.
BW has just announced the licence fee increases for this year.
This was subject of a consultation commenced in November 2009 and The National Association of Boat Owners made a response to the consultation earlier this year.
The headlines are a 1% increase from across the board from August, and the prompt payment discount retained at 10%. BW’s previous proposal had been for no base increase but a reduction in prompt payment discount. NABO were not in favour of proposals that imposed the greatest increases on BW’s best customers. Chairman David Fletcher said “We sometimes despair at the lack of understanding by BW about their main customer base – but this outcome where our views have been taken into account shows a shift and realisation that there are options”.
Several other issues that NABO raised have been agreed including the retention of the Explorer Licence and an acceptance by BW to retain the ability to obtain licences in the normal way – they wanted to do it all on line.
David said “Other issues that that we recommended were outside the immediate consultation and we will continue to press for these to be considered but overall we consider this to be a good settlement for this year and importantly it meets BW’s budget expectations.” He added “ It is important that boaters continue to make a real contribution to the maintenance costs in these difficult times.”
NABO continue to work with each British Waterways Region in trying to help prioritise maintenance and repair works to fit in with budget restrictions but are very worried about the effect of future central government budget cuts. A spokesman said “So many of our members express concern about the state of the Waterways systems and the poor level of maintenance. Further cuts will damage many many years of investment, hard work and regeneration effort to a system which is part of this country’s heritage so the Spending Reviews really worry us”
The National Association of Boat Owners is dedicated to promoting the interests of private boaters on Britain's canals, rivers and lakes, so that their voice can be heard when decisions are being made which might affect their boating. More at www.nabo.org.uk