Victor wonders at the lack of concern

Published: Tuesday, 13 December 2022

THE most important subject today concerning the waterways is indeed the matter of energy bills support for liveaboards.

The weather at the moment means liveaboards need to keep their boats at a decent temperature for their 'wellbeing'—a phase so often used by Canal & River Trust in promoting its waterways. But what of its many thousand liveaboard boaters who are moored with no electric power point or are continuous cruisers—what of their wellbeing?

Searching CaRT's web pages for 'energy bills support' turned up nothing, just 'Heating your boat, get it serviced in safe working order'.

Even its much publicised debate in the House of Commons producing such as an MP 'setting out the unique contribution to the nation of the trust and its waterways, from the economic impact through to the huge social and environmental benefits to society'.  But ner a word about the wellbeing of boaters or the worry of the matter of energy bills support of CaRT's 'customers' who are not connected to a mains power supply.

I did not expect anything from the Inland Waterway Association, now being so close to the trust, and searching produced nothing about energy bills support, for what, after all, must concern some of its members.

The waterways Press produced a blank too, with nothing from Towpath Talk, nothing from Canal Junction and the same from Canal Boat.

The good news

Though not a keen fan of the National Bargee Travellers Association (NBTA). I have to give it full marks for getting stuck into the matter of energy bills support with the people that matter—the government and its ministers and eventually getting the decision that off-grid boaters will be included in the scheme that will be delivered via local authorities and it will be open for applications in January 2023.

This means that thanks to the NBTA those vulnerable boaters should get the £400 energy support that is so important to them to keep warm in this weather.

Our editor was only too pleased to include the NBTA report in full, as many boaters would of course be pleased to hear of the decision and so act on it.

But neither the Canal & River Trust, the IWA or the waterways Press chose to publish it—only it seems, narrowboatworld...

But to its credit the the National Association of Boat Owners (NABO) did refer to the NBTA energy bill support feature even including an internet address. 

So at least one association cares for its members.

Victor Swift