I am a member of NABO. A group of volunteers who represent boat owners at meetings with CRT.
Their latest News booklet includes a report by Stella Ridgway about the CRT Annual Report. I wonder what the charity is doing with their income.
Apparently the total income was £188.7m. Some of that comes from DEFRA, Boating and Property Investment. Us boaters paid £42.4m.
Strangely it cost the charity £39.4m to raise funds! Charitable giving alone cost 1.1m. Apparently it cost £7.20 for every £5 given! What is the point of that?
Trustees do not get paid but get expenses to the tune of £19,897. Richard Parry was paid £189,847, Stuart Mills got £207,161 and redundancy payments were a whopping £870,000.
Rubbish disposal costs CRT £1.2m every year! Not all rubbish provided by boaters.
Finance it seems is a subject that can pull wool over ones eyes! However the proof is in the pudding. The charity has to maintain Navigation of the waterways. That is their task. As we boaters know the system is falling apart rapidly. Vegetation is growing faster than contractors can cut it back! The lock equipment is not being repaired quickly enough.
It is no wonder that that there has been less boat movement on various canals. The Oxford canal in particular has become overgrown in many places. I wonder if I will be able to get the boat out of the marina next year!
The latest news is that local councils are considering charging rates if your boat is your only residence if you stay too long in one place. Even if you are in a marina. CRT are considering relaxing the 'Continuous Cruising' rules if you have children going to school! What then about going to work!
Sadly our boat is closed down for the winter. Diesel tank filled and water tank emptied. We hope to visit at least once a month to stay 'rough camping' for a few days during the winter months.
While my brother was on board he went with Ann to see the Morris Men and Women dancing in the Banbury street.
This paddle at Broadmoor lock has been broken for many months. We saw it again while walking round with Molly.
October has been kind to us while on the move but it has been a bit cold in the mornings and evenings. Now it is time to prepare for the winter months. Just filled the diesel tank @ 70 pence a litre, zero rate. Moore To Life only needs 0.7 litres an hour for the engine or heater so we are pleased with that. Next thing to do is empty the water tank and get air in the pipes.
Then it is short visits each month till the spring.
We are explorers and have discovered the world that we live on. As explorers we have sent out scouts to discover other worlds in the space beyond our blue sky.
So far we have found nothing out there that can keep us alive without protection. Some of our human scouts have gone as far as the moon and back. Others have stayed longer on an orbiting space station. We begin to realise that our long evolution on earth makes us vulnerable above the protection of that blue sky.
Our latest scouts, Rosetta and Philae, have just ended their robotic mission. They sent back data and pictures to study and admire. But it seems no life was found on that lump of rock. Even though the building blocks for life exist out there beyond our blue sky.
Only our earth, it seems, has provided that blue sky protection for us to live under. Let us do all we can to protect the earth so that we can continue to live in it's protection.