No winter winners
STEVE HAYWOOD ( CB, Oct) asks: “So, who’s the winner over winter moorings?” He makes an accusation that the Canal & River Trust’s recently announced changes to the winter mooring conditions were substantially due to representations made by the National Association of Boat Owners ( NABO).
This is not the case. CRT has confirmed in an email: “That questions had been raised by boating organisations ( including NABO) and others, and we’d taken the decision, on our own legal advice, to withdraw the offer.”
I want to make NABO’s position on winter moorings very clear. We have always supported their availability; indeed, many of our members make use of this facility.
When the roving winter mooring permit was proposed two years ago, NABO reminded CRT that what it was introducing was effectively a “Roving Mooring Scheme”, similar to something that had previously been attempted and then abandoned. On the basis of advice received from our legal advisors, NABO notified CRT on that earlier occasion that we believed this approach was outside the provisions of the relevant Waterways Act. We urged CRT to discuss this further with us, as we had some suggestions that we felt could allow a variation on the approach that might be legally acceptable. CRT chose to ignore our advice. It came as no surprise to us when CRT’s own legal advisors eventually came to the same conclusion as ours. As a result, they have now had to revert to the original scheme, much to the regret of many of our members. Chairman, National Association of Boat Owners Steve replies: “I don’t want to pick a fight with NABO, which I hold in the highest regard, but Mike‘ s response is nonsense. NABO prides itself on being the pre- eminent boaters’ organisation; now Mike tries to minimise its responsibility for action that directly contributed to CRT’s decision to abandon the Roving winter mooring scheme. Many NABO members used and valued this, and Mike would be better admitting a mistake was made. It’s surely the job of a boaters’ organisation to represent boater‘ s interests, not do CRT’s legal work for it.”