Sunday 11 December 2011

The Canal & River Trust Council election

The Canal & River Trust Council
December 2011

You may have read that the Canal & River Trust are establishing a Council which represents the various groups with an interest in our Inland Waterways. Most of the members are co-opted on, but four seats have been reserved for representatives of the boating community, elected by single transferable vote.

The Council performs an essential role as the guardian of the long term values and spirit of the Trust. The Council will have an important role in helping to shape policy, raising and debating issues, providing guidance and providing a sounding board for the trustees, who determine the policy and strategy of the Trust.

Now here is the thing. Having given the matter much thought I have decided to stand for election as a boater representative. You will be aware of my passion for our waterways, but there are some aspects to Captain Ahab that are not immediately apparent from my blog, aspects which are very relevant to my desire to serve in this way.

When I am not boating, or thinking about boating, I have a busy career overseeing the operational integrity of the European arm of a multinational company. This role involves taking a commercial approach to big decisions, weighing the risks of the various options, all within the confines of a big bureaucracy. What is more, I spend much of my time wrestling with the application of various rules and regulations coming out the government. Quite often my role seems to be stating what I see as the blindingly obvious - the fact that the emperor has no clothes, if you like. There seem to be a lot of similarities between my professional life and the role expected of a C&RT Council member

Nothing would give me more pleasure than to be able to apply my thirty years of commercial experience to my forty year passion for our inland waterways. Having grown up holidaying on the dirty ditch canals and rivers of the 1960s, I have watched them regenerate into the splendid resource that they are today, bringing joy to millions. We hold this unique network in trust for future generations and the migration to the new Trust represents a pivotal moment in it's history. It is therefore essential that we get it right first time and avoid costly mistakes.  

With your support I would like to play my part in ensuring the successful development of our inland waterways resource. With love, care and lots of good management I hope to see Jeff cruising an improved and extended network in another 40 years time.

So what next? Well, the elections will take place in February / March 2012 but in the meantime it would be great if you could lend my candidacy your endorsement. The boating community is a large and diverse population and I don't stand with any body, group or organisation behind me. I won't seek to represent any specific boating sub group, but rather the boating community in general. 

I guess you could say that if I am to gain enough votes, I will need to attract the "floating boater" (aargh - what a terrible pun!). But seriously, we boaters are a geographically spread bunch and communication is a challenge. If you feel you could lend me your support, can I ask you to make my candidacy known within your own boating circles please? 

I have to admit to feeling a bit nervous about standing, so I want to say a special thank you to those of you that have kindly agreed to nominate me. Your demonstration of support and words of encouragement  are much appreciated.

Andy Tidy


Gareth said...

I'd be more than happy to support you in that, although I'm not sure what that would be worth, as I'm so new to boating that the ink is still wet on my paperwork.

Best of luck.

Now - how do I register to vote...?

Andy Tidy said...

Gareth, thanks for your support. The ticket to the game is your BW License... Just remember me when the voting forms are sent to you in February.
I will post a bit more about the election over the coming weeks. Happy boating - what sort of boat have you bought?

nick holt said...

From reading your blog over the months, your passion for the waterways and your commitment to their retention and development shines through; that fact allied to the knowledge and experience you bring from your professional life seem to me to provide just the kind of qualities we'd all like to see represent the interests of us boaters on the new council - you can be assured of my vote, best wishes Nick, blogging at

Andy Tidy said...

Thank you Nick - much appreciated

KevinTOO said...

Sadly I'm not a boater, just a wannabe waiting for a lottery win... But if I had a licence you'd get my vote.
I hope there are more 'real boaters' out there who read your blog and who will support you.
Good luck!

Andy Tidy said...

Thanks Kevin

Sue said...

Well I can't think of a better person to represent the boaters, boating and waterways than yourself. You would be my choice over all.

I am so pleased you have put yourself forward, you will have my full support for sure.

Good luck.. Go for it!

Andy Tidy said...

Thanks Sue - its good to see you blogging again. That pound looks very shallow.

Joel said...

I am in the same boat as Kevin....You'd get my vote too. I don't often post but I have been following your blog for a while and your love of the waterways does come across quite strongly. So good luck with this.

Geoff and Mags said...

You can be sure of my vote when the time comes. I can't think of anyone better qualified. Good luck!

Peter said...

Hello Andy. What a great idea, the fact that you are able to communicate to so many boaters through your blog puts you in a great position to represent boaters. Your blog posts seem to be well balanced and are always well written and interesting. I have had a BW licence for a 57' narrowboat since 2003 and would be very happy to support you.

Roger said...


I would be pleased to be one of your nominees (10 I think) if required.


nickw said...

I would be delighted to support your application. I have little doubt that you will make an excellent council member.Let me know what I need to do to nominate you


Nick W

Amy said...

Well, if I was BW license payer I'd support you fully! Will just have to support you in spirit.

nb lucky duck

Andy Tidy said...

Wow - your comments have come in thick and fast today - please accept a collective thank you!
Roger - I have left a comment on your blog.
Amy - of course you benefit from the insanely cheap fee per mile from the Cam Conservators.....!
Spread the word when the time comes!

Carol said...

You can count on a vote from Rock 'n' Roll

Danny said...

Have you already got enough nominees or do you need another.

Dave said...

You have my vote.

Dave Edwards
NB Sophie-Jane No.2

Nev Wells said...


You are the man for the job for sure, whatever I need to do.....

Nev NB Waterlily

Ian Bingham said...


Let us know if you require any further sponsors, otherwise please keep the blog updated leading up to the vote please.

Ian - NB Tacet

Mike and Poppy said...

Hi Andy.

Using a modern communication medium such as the CanalWorld forum should be good for the election of a boater onto the council. The problem I find is that other peoples vitriolic opinion are colouring what those trying to stand for election are fighting to say.

So for everyone else I have just the one caveat. There are some people on CWDF who can be very disruptive and very in your face. I suggest you have a handy sack of salt and a large spoon available when reading postings on the CanalWorld forum from individuals who are not standing in the election.

Of the two people I know for certain who are standing each has their own boating blog. I expect that a great deal of additional information on the knowledge and aspirations of the individuals can be gleaned from there.

I would suggest the those standing with a blog can use their blog to convince, cajole and win over opinion to aid their election.

The school playground bun-fight that is the CanalWorld forum is not the place to do your hustings.

Good luck I hope you make it to a council position.

nb.bobcat said...

You have my vote as well.


Will Chapman said...


I've added your manifesto etc to the feature I am building on

If you would like to edit it let me know.


Will Chapman