Stella Ridgway, a liveaboard boater without a home mooring, has been elected to one of four private boating seats on the CRT Council. However the low turn out represents a huge loss of confidence in CRT with only 6.8% of private boaters actually casting a vote. In the first Council election in March 2012 – before BW was actually transferred to CRT – the turnout was 27.4%. In addition there were numerous problems with the election as many did not receive the code allowing them to vote on the election web site and despite assurances by CRT, those continuous cruisers who have been forced to take ‘restricted’ licences were only included at the last minute. This represents a massive loss of trust in CRT and its governance methods.
The election results were announced on 18th December. The other three private boaters elected are Phil Prettyman, Andrew Phasey and Vaughan Welch. Stella Ridgway’s election manifesto said:
“My name is Stella Ridgway and I continuously cruise with my husband and two Labradors on NB Gracie. I have considerable experience in mediation and consultation and if elected I would:
Encourage CRT to focus on the maintenance of the canal navigation and infrastructure.
Seek to ensure all users respect the canal and its environment
Canvas and seek to get boaters views heard on, for instance:
Towpath safety and responsible cycling
More facilities in popular areas
Accessible moorings long and short term
Fair and consistent enforcement
If we all show consideration and treat others, as we would like to be treated, I believe we can preserve our way of life. Boaters and towpath visitors should be able to enjoy a safe environment to enjoy canal life. I would encourage CRT not to affect the enjoyment of the vast majority when trying to manage the irresponsible behaviour of the few”.
Stella is a member of the NABO Council, an active trade union member and is the first woman and the first continuous cruiser to be elected in the private boating section. She can be contacted via her Facebook page here https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=873542626069864
You can read the other three successful Council members’ manifestos here
This is the breakdown of votes cast compared to the number of those eligible to vote:
Number of eligible voters: 27,280
Total number of votes cast: 1,860
Number of votes found to be invalid: 0
Total number of valid votes to be counted: 1,860
You can read a full breakdown of the votes cast here