I’ve not been formally involved in CRT before, but after reading through the 150 words each candidate is allowed, I thought that I had much to offer the council, some not covered by the other candidates. My 150 words are:-
“Interests: Narrowboats , cycling (riding and campaigning), Rugby League, Speedway, Trade Union representation.
Why stand? To help represent all canal users across the diversity of users, we have a finite space that needs people to understand the need to share.
I am the owner, since 2012, of a nb moored on the Slough Arm of the GU. In this time I have experienced the delights of rivers, canals and the problems with a lack of boating facilities on key parts of the system. Unfortunately these facilities have yet to catch up with demand and CRT needs to look at different ways of delivering services to all communities and ensuring general maintenance is not forgotten. Before owning our boat I was a regular hirer of the BBC Club boat, Savoy Hill. I've been a volunteer Towpath Ranger, attendee at canal clean-ups and help support local IWA branches.”
and the lovely photo......
More detail of the above statement: We have a mooring (non residential) at High Line on the Slough Arm of the Grand Union and take our boat, Salar, out as often as we possibly can. In the last 3 years we have cruised with St Pancras Cruising Club (to the Royal Docks and twice with them on their tideway trips down to Brentford) as well as cruising the River Wey, Oxford ring (including Lechlade) and this year the Lee and Stort. We are often seen heading up the GU to the Hemel area and back again and have plans for the K & A next year depending on work commitments. I take as many opportunities as possible to talk to all boaters we meet, both on the cut, at various land based meetings (CRT’s London Waterway forums, CRT AGM, local IWA meetings etc.) and festivals such as Cavalcade and Rickmansworth. It is obvious that the canals are now having to meet the demands of a diverse user base, many are new to the canals, unsure of what they need to do, should do or shouldn't do. Most are less than complementary of CRT as an organisation. As you will have seen my interests are cycling and cycle campaigning, a thorny issue when is comes to towpaths and personally I think CRT (at least in London) are trying to address the negatives that you often read about but more needs to be done. I am also a Unison rep at the London Borough of Southwark - where my job is to try to get more people to take up active transport and reduce private car journeys. Both my sporting teams, London Broncos and Eastbourne Eagles have been through better times but I am ever the optimist and success will come back to both clubs. If elected I will try to represent the people who have private boats on the waterways, whether it be for cruising or living. We all live on the water, just for some it is their home.
My knowledge of the work of the Council is as much as I have read in the CRT Council pdf plus the published minutes and agendas but I am puzzled as to why we havn’t heard from our existing council members who, one assumes, were elected to represent people such as myself. It will be my intention, if elected, to use social media and web channels to update people as to what the Council is up to, what I have been up to and answer as many questions as I can. There is a comments section on this blog which I hope to use to respond to any questions you may have and for those of you who are in the Twitter world I already use this (although I haven’t yet mastered listening to the discussion and Tweeting at the same time). I post under the Twitter name of @Roggys
The election is open from the 13th November through to the 11th December and you should all either receive an email of postal communication but judging by those I have chatted to already many just don’t read any communications from CRT or have never heard from them about the election. Will be interesting to see the response data plus ratio of postal votes against electronic votes.
Please feel free to ask about me, my thoughts or views on pertinent issues. You might not like the answer but at least I’ll try. I promise to continue this, if elected and offer to attend any meeting (if possible) in the SE region and perhaps further afield – although I can’t promise to attend an evening meeting at the Ripon Motor Boat Club without reasonable notice (and cheap rail fares if such things exist).
I've also posted some our timelapse canal videos on my YouTube site