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Negative NABO?

Editor, Peter Fellows, thinks the magazine reflects the views of NABO members,

We were all shocked by news of the sudden death on Boxing Day of Vice-Chair, Paul Howland, and I have included an obituary for him from his friend and colleague, Alison Tuck.

NABO’s advocacy work on behalf of boaters depends entirely on income from membership fees and, although the number of members is holding steady, we can always do more to attract new people. The Council has redesigned our recruitment flyer and I have included a few copies with this issue. Please help if you can, by giving one to any neighbouring boaters who are yet to become members – personal recommendations are one of the most effective recruitment methods.

In the light of changes to BSS requirements to be introduced in April this year, I have followed up the article on carbon monoxide alarms in the last issue with further information on where to locate them on your boat, and how to prevent CO from being produced in the first place. There is also a letter from a member, Brian Holt, on his experiences with CO detectors. In Techies Corner, Tony Brooks has some good advice on checking that your batteries are charging correctly.

Mark Tizard writes about the growing issue of widebeam boats on narrow canals and David Fletcher has delved into the 1975 Fraenkel Report, which gives detailed specifications of all the canals in the system at that time, describing which are designated wide or narrow canals. David has also looked into the implications for boat stoves in light of the revised DEFRA clean air strategy and Mark suggests minimum standards for water depth at visitor moorings.

After the CRT management reorganisation and appointment of six new regional directors last year, NABO councillors and regional reps. have started a programme of regular meetings with directors to exchange views and information. In this issue, there are reports from Mike Rodd on a meeting with the Wales and the South West director and from Joan Jamieson with the East Midlands director. Howard Anguish, the Yorkshire & Humberside rep., gives notice of events in 2019 on the Pocklington and Driffield canals and Alison Tuck reports on CRT’s West Midlands’ annual public meeting. Several CRT people at the meetings complained about the ‘negative tone’ in NABO News towards the Trust. I’m pleased that they are reading NABO News and point out that the magazine reflects the views that NABO receives from its members and the wider boating community. I think it is fair to say that, for several years now, these views have become increasingly negative towards CRT, especially after last year’s rebranding. The real issue is whether CRT is beginning to address boaters’ concerns – NABO News is just a messenger.

Finally, my thanks to Janice Steckerl for her help with proof-reading NABO News for many years. I would be grateful to hear from you if you are able to give up a few hours in March and September to proof-read these issues.