From the Tiller

by Alan Wildman

Another Residential Boat Owners’ Association AGM has come and gone and the serving Officers from 2016/17 have each accepted appointment for a further 12 month term, with myself  continuing as Chair.

  • Charles Foster – Vice Chair, Members’ Benefits Officer and RBOA Archivist
  • Beryl McDowall – General Secretary, Publicity Officer, Website and Editor for Soundings
  • Dave Milne – Treasurer and Acting Membership Secretary
  • Sue Milne – Postal Distribution and Administrative Support

We are most fortunate to have such an experienced and dedicated team; and by keeping that team tight, with Dave’s keen financial controls and Sue’s unswerving support, we keep the running costs of the Association to a minimum. We could always benefit from some fresh input and assistance though. So, if you would like to get more involved with what we do, please give one of us a call or send us an email. You will be made very welcome.

Canal & River Trust’s consultations on Boat Licensing and the Draft London Mooring Strategy both remain open until 18th December for us all to make comment.

Details of the results from Stages 1 and 2 of the Boat Licensing Consultation are available via the CRT website; and by now you should have received a personal invitation from CRT to contribute to Stage 3. Your own views are very important so do, please, take this opportunity to make them known. Should you have any problem with completing the consultation, or if you haven’t received an invitation to contribute, you can get help by calling the CRT Customer Service Team on 0303 040 4040.

The Consultation/Survey on CRT’s Draft London Mooring Strategy can be accessed by clicking here.

If you need help with this one, you can again call the CRT Customer Service Team or you can contact Matthew Symonds (CRT Strategy and Engagement Manager – Boating) or Sorwar Ahmed (CRT London Boating Manager). Again, your personal views are extremely important, so please let them be known via this Consultation.

CRT has announced that the cost of boat licences will increase by 3% from next spring. Any increase to boaters’ costs is unwelcome but it appears this is roughly in line with the anticipated UK inflation rate, so it is not totally unexpected.

As previously reported, many of the visitor moorings on the Non-tidal River Thames are now managed by TVM (Thames Visitor Moorings). TVM is operated by Rex Walden, a long time residential boater, a past Chair of RBOA and now our Area Rep. on that part of the river. For clarity, RBOA is in no way formally connected with TVM and has no input or say in the running of it. Nevertheless, updates from Rex are most welcome. He reports that the scheme is settling down and is working well. As anticipated, there was initially some (minor) resistance to the operation, but such resistance has all but evaporated as boaters realise that this is being driven by an experienced boater, for the overall good of all legitimate users of the waterway. Were it not for Rex’s involvement, the moorings management may well have fallen into the hands of something akin to a car park management organisation!

TVM has a good, informative web site which might be of use to you if you intend venturing onto the upper Thames:

The Middle Level Bill, by which the Middle Level Commissioners hope to gain the legislative right to impose registrations, controls and navigational charges upon craft using the Commissioners’ Fenland waterways, is currently held up within the Parliamentary process. We have no idea how long it might be before the Bill is passed or rejected but will report as soon as the situation becomes clearer.

And to conclude, this being the last edition of Soundings before Christmas, may I take this slightly early opportunity to wish you all a Happy and Safe Festive Season.

As ever, my sincere and very best wishes go out to every one of you.

The RBOA Newsletter, Soundings, is sent free to members six times a year.
It is also available to non-members for £2 (+ £1.20 P&P).