Finally October to December – some stories can be read in full by simply clicking on the headline. Others can be found at www.thefloater.org
Cruising pattern silence
Back in February 2017, the Waterways Ombudsman stated that CRT intended in the 'coming weeks' to publish “illustrative cruising patterns” for boaters with school age children. Mike Grimes told the Navigation Advisory Group at around the same time: “We’re looking at putting together and publish soon some example compliant movement patterns that boaters with children could look at to help inform their movement patterns”.
Yet, as another school year began in September, and eight months after C&RT set itself that apparently simple task, the Trust had failed to produce any such guidelines, in fact the only action it seems to have taken is to bounce Freedom of Information requests to know what actions it is taking.
The Floater asked the same question, but the response was to stonewall yet again, with C&RT's senior spin doctor Jon Ludford replying: “I don’t have much of an update for you. We’re in the process of considering illustrative cruising patterns.
“As any decision will affect all boaters across the network, we’re committed to getting it right. We’re going to be taking into account the experiences of a wide range of families living on the water as well as others with a wider interest in this issue.
“In the meantime we ask all boaters to continue to cruise in line with our current guidance and, as ever, get in contact if they’re not sure what this means.”
All of which really means that the Trust was ignoring the commitments made by the Waterways Ombudsman and former Head of Boating Mike Grimes. It still is some months later.
GPs reluctant to sign up boaters.
A new survey showed some GP practises seem to be ignoring official NHS guidelines and refusing to accept liveaboard CCers and their families. The figures also suggest the refusals are deterring other boaters from even trying.
The findings of a survey by the London branch of the National Bargee Travellers Association (NBTA) show that nearly four in ten (36 per cent) have had problems registering with a GP because they have no permanent address and more than 30 per cent haven't even tried to register.
Just a third said they hadn't had a problem accessing a GP despite the fact that there is no requirement to have a permanent address to register and NHS England policy is very clear about it.
Is C&RT below minimum safety standards?
We asked if C&RT was performing below its own minimum safety standards.
NABO joins chorus of protest as C&RT's licence 'consultation' becomes a farce
The Floater documented concerns regarding stage 3 of C&RT's licence consultation. Having not got what it wanted from stage 1 and 2 of its licence consultation, C&RT parted company with the 'independent charity', Involve, who it had engaged to run all three stages of the consultation. Involve was replaced by TONIC, a non charitable organisation, often used by Government, with very different aims and ideals.
C&RT boasts of maintenance spend – but it's down £7 million this winter
We took a look at press releases which suggested C&RT will spend £7 million less this winter on maintaining its waterways. Its latest press release says it will spend £38 million this winter but similar press releases claim £45 million in previous years.