The anti-liveaboard Inland Waterways Association (IWA) has been elected to three of the four private boater places on the Canal and River Trust Council. Clive Henderson, Ivor Caplan and Keith Welch, all connected with the IWA, gained the most votes with Ann Farrell in fourth place. The two boating business places were taken by Nigel Stevens, owner of Shire Cruisers hire boats and a past Chair of BWAF, and Anthony Matts.
Liveaboard Frank Kelly who stood for election said “I’m sorry to say that I have not been elected to the CRT council. I would like to thank those who sponsored me and everyone who voted for me. Needless to say, my contribution to the fight for liveaboard rights will continue unabated.
As many of you know, I believe the council to be a case of ‘community-wash’ ie. a false nod towards community involvement in an organisation which will be controlled by a hard-nosed board of directors with a development agenda and an in-built antipathy to live-aboards and continuous cruisers. The boater presence on the council is minimal at 4 seats and the council largely powerless. Nevertheless, winning a seat would have provided a useful platform from which to campaign for boaters’ rights. My sincere thanks and condolences to everyone who voted.”
Graham Phillips, a trading boater who stood for election to the boating business places said “Now that the private and boating business seats have been elected it shows that the disenfranchised boaters now are continuous cruisers, live-aboards, the not-so shiny boat brigade, trading boaters, some NABO members, those who didn’t stand as candidates championed by the IWA and those disenfranchised from voting in the first place”.
The turnout was very low; out of 28,805 private licence holders, only 7,598 voted – a turnout of 26.4%. The full election results, including numbers of votes cast for each candidate, are available at www.waterscape.com/trust