Cheeky IWA wants the four CART places

Published: Saturday, 17 December 2011

IF THE Inland Waterways Association gets its way the four boaters allowed as representatives on the Canal & River Trust Council will only be from  the association!

As boaters are aware, out of the 35 members of the Canal & River Trust only four will be boaters, but the Inland Waterways Association wants to have its own people, ignoring the huge majority of boaters who are not members of the association.

Less representative

It has put forward three of its chairmen and one trustee, it says 'to represent all boaters on the new Canal & River Trust', ignoring that the four boaters should represent the widest spectrum possible, and certainly not all be from what is now regarded a an ever increasingly less representative body for boaters interests.

A statement from the Inland Waterways Association reads:

'The Council is to be the guardian of the long-term values and purposes of the Canal & River Trust. While the trustees are responsible for determining policy and strategy, the Council will have an important role in helping to shape policy, raising and debating issues, and providing guidance, perspective and a sounding board for the trustees'.

On behalf of all boaters

It is therefore putting forward three of its chairmen and a trustee, whom it feels will certainly get the 10 nominations that are necessary, with the comment  'IWA is fielding four IWA sponsored candidates on behalf of all boaters:

Ivor Caplan a Trustee of IWA and residential boater,
Clive Henderson National Chairman of IWA ,
Paul Roper a Trustee of IWA and Chairman of the navigation committee,
Vaughan Welch a Trustee of IWA and chairman of the restoration committee'.


What will be seen by many boaters is the incongruity of Clive Henderson standing for election, as he is already a 'observer' of the Board of British Waterways, and would surely be the worst candidate possible, and can thus in no way be regarded as an independent boaters' representative.

We feel this most high-handed move by the Inland Waterways, to say that it represents all boaters, when in fact it has done little to address or curb the  excesses of British Waterways, had little concern in the lack of maintenance or further the lot of the boater, is a joke!

Modicum of interest

The association only showed some modicum of interest in the shenanigans in the creation of the Canal & River Trust after Allan Richards and narrowboatworld had repeatedly pointed out its many inadequacies,

It is indeed tragic that there are only four people representing boaters on the Canal & River Trust, but it would be even more tragic if the four were from the hierarchy of the Inland Waterways Association.