From the Tiller

by Charles Foster

We have just been informed that Crick Show has been postponed due to the Covid – 19 Virus. We will keep you up to date on any new dates on the website when we are informed what is happening.

Please keep yourselves safe and follow the advice being given on the Government’s website. Also some advice has been put together in this issue of Soundings for the situation where you come into contact with this dreaded virus.

Red diesel has raised its head again, this time by HMRC, with the phasing out of its benefits in two years time. We will continue to fight for it to remain but also look at a different attack by supporting the use of environmental diesel fuel that should come out tax free in my view. Watch this space – any thoughts on this will be much appreciated.

Work has forged ahead in producing the applications and type of Charity model for the RBOA which will be being debated by your Officers in the very near future. Also we are well on track for online membership and the launch of the revised website. My thanks to all those who have been involved in getting these jobs done.

My thanks are also due to your Officers, who have been attending all types of meetings around the country. I personally attended one of our MOU meetings with CRT, which I feel may be at last getting a more sensible response than has been the case in the past, with lip service to groups like ours being the only outcome. Something like ticking boxes comes to my mind by CRT!

The Association has been busy representing our needs to the different very varied array of clubs, other associations and managing bodies over the last couple of months, hopefully getting the message across that residential boaters are good for all communities, adding diversity, voluntary workers and being good upholders of the environment. This is a very important job, as together we really do have a greater say in what our purported masters would like to happen to the waterways.

My door is always open to discussions on how we and other groups can find mutual ground to provide a really cohesive argument and front to the waterways’ authorities that represent your boating area.

Hopefully the rain and winds will stop soon and the Corona virus be a distant memory. We can then get on with enjoying our boating as we should.

Your views on all these matters are important for the RBOA to move ahead; please contact us.

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).