What new boat­ing reps had to say

Canal Boat - - News -

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’.

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