From the Tiller

by Charles Foster

It hardly seems five minutes since I was writing my notes for the last issue of Soundings. They say the older you get, the faster time goes by, and it has been very much the case over the last two months.

So what have we been involved in over this period?

  • The updated website and online membership is well underway.
  • Thoughts for Crick 2020 are in hand; the stand has been booked.
  • The AGM organisation is progressing and I hope as many of you as possible were able to attend, to ensure lively discussion on our future (23rd November 2019, Clifford Arms, Great Haywood, ST18 0SR, from 11.00hrs.)
  • I have been to the CRT Northern Forum in Leeds, which was pretty much the same as the Birmingham one in miniature! But what I will say is that one must applaud the CRT staff on the ground for trying to offer the best services they can under the financial restraints that come from above. You can see later in the magazine the figures supplied by CRT on income and expenditure. These need to be thoroughly scrutinised to see if it is really value for money in the way that Preferred Contractors need to be employed more and more as the base skill levels within CRT are being reduced to a very small proportion of the work needed to complete the annual maintenance of the system. As always, larger organisations charge more than smaller ones. Also is the work being carried out by contractors actually being effectively checked?
  • On the weekend of 2/3 November I attended the AGM of the Electric Boat Association and found it most interesting to see what the problems are that they encounter, which is very similar to our own in finding willing committee members and potential officers. I will try to form a closer bond with this organisation as they are in the forefront of the technology that we may need to continue our lifestyle after 2050.

Possibly the most important issues coming out of the CRT meetings is that concerning the governments ZERO EMISSIONS STRATEGY BY 2050. This will greatly affect us as a call to evidence is planned for 2025, if which we must be at the forefront for the future of both inland and coastal boaters. Our views need to be aired and made known to your committee and other organisations concerned. More on this as we develop our future strategies in the coming months. Any expertise in this area would be appreciated. Our focus needs to be under the maritime heading, as this applies to sea going and inland waters.

The areas that we will need to understand are twofold, air pollution and propulsion issues, together with how they will be administered. A very good reason why is that all those living afloat full time or short term – will all be affected.

This highlights why your membership and that of others is so paramount in funding the RBOA – to make your views heard. So if you can encourage others to join, it will truly make a difference.

Finally a little thought for you. Have you considered leaving a legacy (Gift) in your Will to the RBOA so as to allow its future works to continue? Let us know if you would like to proceed with this.

Thankyou all again for your support and assistance into the future.

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).