Issue date: 30th September 2013
The Inland Waterways Association decided, at its Annual General Meeting on 28th September, to maintain all its subscription rates at the current levels for at least another year. The importance for the Association of maintaining membership levels, by both retaining existing members and attracting new recruits, was recognised at the meeting, and members present decided that one way to help this was to keep subscription rates at the present levels. With inflation running at near to 3%, the ‘no increase’ decision represents a reduction in real terms in the costs for members. In recent previous years, the Association has maintained a policy of simply increasing subscription amounts by the rate of inflation each year – so that in real terms the cost remained the same.
The Association had originally put forward a plan to do the same again this year, and apply another increase for 2014 level with inflation. Members, however, conscious of above-inflation rise in many other areas including costs of boating, determined that IWA should show a lead and do better. IWA’s subsidiary company Essex Waterways Ltd, which runs the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation, has also recently determined another below-inflation increase in mooring charges for the Navigation. There are no separate licences for using the waterway, other than for unpowered boats and canoes – and their fees are once again to remain at the same level, with no increase, in 2014.
Les Etheridge, IWA National Chairman, said “Whilst IWA’s trustees are deeply conscious of the need for the Association to maintain its income each year, it is important that we listen to what our members have to say, and the Annual General Meeting provides a good opportunity for this. The Association is a genuinely democratic organisation, and this is a great strength. The members’ decision on Saturday will, I am sure, be seen as a very positive reaction to the financial pressures facing many people including boaters, and it is good that IWA is taking a lead to keep costs down. IWA has done more for boaters over the years that any other organisation, and it was a pleasure on Saturday to chair a meeting where members’ passion both for the waterways and for the Association was so very evident.”
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