We lose our representatives

CRT’s management structure includes a number of voluntary committees that boaters and other waterway users are either elected or appointed to. These include the CRT Council, the Local Waterway Partnerships and the Navigation Advisory Group (NAG). Of these three, the CRT Council does not have any representation of liveaboard boaters without home moorings. In 2012 Frank Kelly stood for election to CRT Council as a representative of the itinerant liveaboard community, but not surprisingly as we are a minority group, he was not elected.

In the Parliamentary debates about the transfer of British Waterways to CRT, the Waterways Minister Richard Benyon MP made an undertaking to the House of Commons on 26th June 2012 that “The CRT is also setting up a number of small advisory committees, one of which will have the task of advising senior managers responsible for boating and navigation matters. This committee will include at least one boater without a home mooring who understands and campaigns for the interests of itinerant live-aboard boaters”. The representative appointed was Mark Walton of London Boaters. However, Mr Walton is to leave NAG in March this year due to pressure of work. There is no clear process for him to be replaced with another itinerant liveaboard boater in compliance with the Minister’s undertaking.

The only one of the 13 Local Waterway Partnerships to have a member who is an itinerant liveaboard boater was the K&A Partnership. And last November, Andrew Harry was given his marching orders in a terse email from CRT’s Head of Governance Roger Hanbury due to the expiry of his three-year term of office as a Partnership member.

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