What new boating reps had to say
THE CANAL & RIVER TRUST’S recently reconstituted governing Council has met for the first time – and two of its new boating representatives have given their initial thoughts.
The 40-strong body includes CRT regional partnership chairs, co-opted members representing various interests, and elected representatives – four for leisure boating, two for boating businesses, one for volunteering and one for staff. Three of the four boating places in the recent election went to new candidates, two of whom have reported back.
Stella Ridgway, liveaboard boater, had some criticisms of the meeting, ‘we have asked for a different format, in order to provide feedback rather than being talked at’, and the Trust in general, ‘neither boaters nor Friends [of CRT] feel valued’.
She did, though, feel the Trust was working to improve matters and ‘exploring a system that will tell them who is where and what; at present they don’t cross-reference who is a boater plus volunteer plus Friend’. She also felt the main work of the Council happened outside the half-yearly meetings and was looking forward to a meeting between the boater representatives and Head of Boating, Mike Grimes.
Andrew Phasey, stalwart of London’s St Pancras Cruising Club, felt that the briefings by CRT senior staff on matters including the recent flooding and the potential takeover of EA navigations showed that ‘serious issues which affect us all are being given proper consideration’. The key element of the day was the ‘invitation to raise matters of interest for discussion at our September meeting’. He commented that CRT Chair Allan Leighton had agreed that one topic would be how boaters’ representatives can ‘authoritatively report to our constituents’ – and invited boaters with issues to raise to ‘drop me a line’.