Green Book Information   Chairman's Report
 
 

Now in its 121st year, the NSBA has over 50 affiliated clubs and organisations, with a combined membership of around 9,000, and around 1,000 individual members, and is active in pursuing a wide range of activities serving, protecting and promoting the interests of private boaters of all types in the area, particularly the Broads, as well as publishing the Green Book, now widely recognised as an indispensable fount of knowledge about every aspect of boating in the area, and complemented by its online companion, www.thegreenbook.org.uk.

Apart from taking up issues for its members and affiliates generally with the Broads Authority (BA) and other bodies, the NSBA is regularly involved on behalf of particular members or affiliates. Its success rate is good but challenges remain to be resolved. The shortfall in the availability of public moorings is becoming increasingly critical, and dredging remains a major issue at a number of locations – for example, on Hickling and on the upper Yare in the Whitlingham area. As I write, the results of the BA’s recent user survey have just been published. In terms of private boaters these are supportive of the views previously expressed by the NSBA and will undoubtedly strengthen the NSBA’s arguments. The National Park branding issue has also recently been decided in favour of the proposal that the Broads should be branded (marketed) as a National Park. This was contrary to the NSBA’s response, but the Authority’s decision to abandon the ambition to become a National Park in law, with the potential for conflicts between conservation interests and navigation interests to be resolved in favour of conservation, is a major victory for the NSBA which has long campaigned for such abandonment. The controversy over the application by Natural England to the Heritage Lottery Fund for around £2.0m to dredge the closed, privately owned Hoveton Great Broad and do associated water-improvement work without any increase in public access other than a commercially-run guided canoe trail rumbles on. The NSBA maintains that HLF funding should be spent on the project only if there was a clear public benefit by opening water-access to the Broad and should certainly not be used to facilitate private profit.

The NSBA will continue to seek to ensure value for money from the BA. The NSBA is committed to seeking adequate representation for tollpayers. Currently there is no guarantee that there will be a single tollpayer on the BA.

The more individual members the NSBA has the stronger it will be in the political arena. Whether or not you are a club member, whatever your type of craft or involvement, if you are not already an individual member the NSBA needs you. If you are already an individual member, please pass on word of our work and persuade your friends to join us as individual members even if they are members of an affiliated club or organisation.

Good Boating in 2015.

Richard Card
Chairman, NSBA
February 2015