Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Canal and River Trust Council - Candidate List Issued and I'm On It!

The BW wheels have turned very slowly since I got my election papers in in good time, and it was finally only late yesterday afternoon that I got an email confirming they had all passed scrutiny.  It does beg the question about whether enough time was allowed to sort out potential queries in time for ballot papers to be prepared, and posted out to boat owners to arrive before the start date of voting, in little over a week, (voting is 8th February to mid-day 9th March).

Anyway it appears most other people got their confirmation yesterday and the final total of 33 candidates for just 4 "private boater" places on CaRT Council was confirmed this morning by a publication of the candidate list.

Link to list of candidates for Boater places on CaRT Council.

So now for the first time I know the full list of names I am competing against.  Some further research is clearly now possible, but it is interesting to note already that it is far less than obvious from these 150 word "election statements" which candidates are there by virtue of being their as the nominated choice of a big "association", and which are independent of a "party whip".  There are, for example 5 officially sponsored candidates of the Inland Waterways Association, (one actually also the choice of the Residential Boat Owners Association) .  Or even arguably 6 IWA candidates, if you consider one is also being put forward by the Association of Waterways Cruising Clubs, itself a corporate member of the IWA.

I believe that based on just these election statements you might not realise there will be these 5 or 6 IWA candidates, (plus several others from other "associations"), receiving a block vote, simply because members of those organisations have been asked to vote for those candidates.

So there are choices to be made.......

Do you vote for a candidate to represent you as a boater because he is a trustee of a major association, and a key player in its hierarchy, (in the most extreme case the actual National Chairman of the IWA).

Or do you vote for a candidate that appears to want to focus on the needs of one particular "type" of boater, even though only four council places are available, and should, to my mind, at least, fairly represent all boat owners.  (You can for example pick a candidate with a specific interest in people in boat share schemes).

Or do you pick someone totally independent of any association or organisation, committed to boating, boaters, and fellow boaters, whatever part their boat plays in their lives - someone sponsored and widely supported by a mix of leisure boaters and live-aboards, some cruising extensively, the others with sometimes anchored to a "base".

As we face the challenges ahead on the move from British Waterways to a charitable trust, I believe we are by far best served by all boat owners pulling together to try and get the best deal for all, and that trying to promote the needs of any one group unreasonably above another will be to our overall detriment.

That's why I am standing as an "independent", and receiving an ever growing amount of support.   That is why I would ask you to cast a first preference vote for me, and give me the chance to prove this approach can win.

You can get in touch with me as follows........

Facebook group: Alan Fincher - Canal and River Tust Election candidate
                        (this is an "open group" - simply make a request to join if you wish to post).
Phone: 07901 - 864321
Email: alanforcrt (at) gmail.com  (replace the spaces and (at) with the proper symbol).

You already know where our blog is, of course, if you want to find out more about me, my boats, and what boating we typically get involved in.


As a result of multiple requests for clarification, this is my "take" on who is actively sponsored by an "assosciation".  That is that the "association" concerned is actively promoting them as their chosen candidates, and urging their membership to cast their votes for them.  (Others will be members of some of those organisations, and possibly officers or trustees within them, but are not actively being promoted by them, as far as I can tell).

All the following, (except my notes), are taken as quotes from directly available information......

Inland Waterways Association - IWA

is fielding five 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 chair of our navigation committee,
Vaughan Welch a trustee of IWA and chair of our restoration committee
Peter Scott a trustee of IWA and regional chairman

(Note:  only 4 places are on offer in these elections!)

Association of Waterways Cruising Clubs - AWCC

David Pearce - Council member of National Association of Boat Owners (NABO) for the past 18 years - currently Hon Treasurer and Rivers Secretary.

(Note:  some have pointed out that AWCC is a corporate member of the IWA, making David Pearce effectively the 6th IWA supported candidate for the 4 elected places on offer)

Residential Boat Owners Association - RBOA

Endorses candidate for CRT Council

Ivor Caplan is standing as a candidate for election to the CRT Council, as a private boaters representative and is endorsed by the Committee.

(Note:  this makes Ivor Caplan the only name to be directly sponsored by two associations – the IWA and the RBOA)

National Association of Boat Owners - NABO

Stephen Peters  - Council member of National Association of Boat Owners (NABO) for the past 18 years - currently Hon Treasurer and Rivers Secretary.

Historic Narrow Boat Owners Club – HNBOC

The HNBOC committee has nominated

Sue Cawson for the Council and urges all club members to support her election.


  1. Thanks for this information Alan, is it possible to list on your blog those candidates who are affiliated to 'associations' - so that when we come to cast our vote, those that wish to back an 'independent' can do so? It would certainly be a big help to me. Many thanks.

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  3. Carol,

    I have responded to this, and one or two similar requests elsewhere, by adding to the above post details of the candidates I believe that have an "association" behind them which is actively encouraging their members to vote for those preferred candidates.

    I believe the information is correct for the 8 names I have listed, but cannot say for certain if any of those names have further "associations" also sponsoring them. Or, indeed, whether any of the other 25 candidates have any such formal "sponsors".

    I hope this helps clarify, because it is certainly not in several cases clear from their 150 word election statements.

  4. Thank you so much Alan, most helpful.

  5. One wonders why there are 5 (arguably 6) people who have put themselves forward for the four positions as boater's representatives - that's about 10% of the total number of people who have put their names forward.

    IMHO I think we need a 'broad church' approach and have views from all sides rather than all the boaters from one organisation.

    I find the whole process very odd and questionable.

    As much as I support the IWA I do hope the boater's representatives are what the job title says - representative.

    As someone who doesn't have a vote (moored on the Wey Navigation and therefore not a BW Licence holder except when I visit) I feel the whole process is questionable.

    NB Leo No2