The National Inland Navigation Forum, NINF, met at the St Pancras Cruising Club on Saturday 24th October 2018. 6 of its member bodies (AWCC, NABO, RBOA, DBA, IWA & CBOA) were represented, together with the General Secretary, Michael Stimpson. This Forum is a useful meeting point bringing together navigational bodies involved in CRT, EA and other waterways. The following summarises some of the major items discussed.

NABO has responded strongly to the proposal to increase Registrations Charges.

“Whilst we accepted that the above-inflation increases introduced over the past year was acceptable (given that there had not been an increase for some years) we strongly believe that only a direct- inflation-based increase can be introduced across all EA waters. The proposal for continuing the differential figures for the 3 waterways is also not acceptable.

We also suggest that in your Table 2.2 all sources of income should be increased by the same amount and that the boat registration charges should not be expected to carry the load – this is simply wrong and unfair.

We would also like to see how your central costs compare to other similar government agencies.  We are not convinced that your agency is working in the most cost-efficient way when compared to others.”

NABO’s full submission will be available in the next NABO News.

Boaters on waters controlled by the Environment Agency (EA) are facing well above inflation increases in boat registration fees. The EA are consulting their boating customers and other interested and affected parties on proposals for boat registration charges on Environment Agency waterways for 2019 to 2020 and 2020 to 2021. The charging proposals they are ”consulting” on have already been in the course of preparation for 6 months and have already been approved by The EA Board, the Treasury, DEFRA Minister Therese Coffey and Michael Gove, the Secretary of State. The voice of boaters MUST be heard, however.

EA has updated their web site with the plans for this winter. You can see the details here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/river-thames-conditions-closures-restrictions-and-lock-closures

The River Thames Alliance has recently issued their second annual report. This is important reading for all Thames users.

You can find it here