IWA pinch our slogan!

Published: Saturday, 03 January 2015

THE Inland Waterways Association (IWA) difficulty in differentiating itself from Canal & River Trust (CaRT) may be drawing to a close, writes Allan Richards.

Faced with an elderly and declining membership, its Trustees decided two weeks ago to clarify its branding and adopt the narrowboatworld slogan ‘The voice of the waterways'! The IWA is also, it seems, adopting the second part of the  narrowboatworld slogan ‘telling it like it is'! [No doubt attempting to confuse its members into believing they are reading narrowboatworld!]

Continuous cruisers

It is many months since IWA discussed making its policy regarding boats without home mooring public. Its minutes suggest that doing so might make it unpopular. However, it has finally bitten the bullet stating that in 2015 it will campaign and work for the future of our waterways by ‘Resolving the issues caused by congestion especially in urban areas where large numbers of boats remain in the area in contravention of the requirements of their licence'.

IWA also says it will continue to campaign in 2015 for incorporating Environment Agency Navigations within CaRT.

Membership falling

IWA membership has been in decline for some years with numbers dropping by 847 from 16,768 to 15,939 between 2012 and 2013. It is understood that a further fall in membership has taken place in 2014. However, this figure should be seen in context. It is still triple CaRT's number of ‘Friends' at the end of the same period.

IWA intends to tackle falling membership saying that it will ‘review the clarity of the IWA Brand to achieve alignment with the Association's Vision & Missions' as a pre-cursor to growing its membership.

Bearing in mind ‘The Waterways Trust' (which like IWA has similar objectives to CaRT) transferred its membership and assets to CaRT, one wonders what will happen if IWA membership declines and CaRT manages to grow its Friends according to its projections.

Will the IWA fade away?

Will IWA simply fade away or will it transfer its membership and assets to the Trust just as The Waterways Trust have done?