PRESS RELEASE: IWA welcomes appointment of Welfare Officer

Issue date: 12th November 2014

The Inland Waterways Association (IWA) welcomes the recent appointment by Canal & River Trust (CRT) of a Welfare Officer and hopes that the new post will go some way to resolving the conflicts that can arise when balancing the rights of individuals, particularly those in vulnerable situations, with enforcement of mooring rules.

IWA understands that the role of the Welfare Officer will be to develop policy about boater welfare and work with a network of external organisations and CRT staff to support vulnerable boaters.  IWA hopes that this will enable CRT to be in a better position to enforce rules concerning overstaying on moorings and start to alleviate the problems which are occurring, particularly in London and on the western end of the Kennet & Avon Canal.  IWA considers that it is important for CRT to address these issues before they become a major problem in other parts of the country, and believes that the way to do this is through enforcement.
IWA National Chairman, Les Etheridge, and IWA Navigation Committee Chairman, Gren Messham, had the opportunity to meet the new Welfare Officer, Sean Williams, at a recent meeting with Canal & River Trust.
Les Etheridge, said “We hope that Sean’s appointment will be a step in the right direction towards resolving some of the problems and we look forward to working with him.  IWA’s policy has always been to support the concept of residential boating, and we recently published an article on our website containing advice about the pros and cons of living afloat. This highlights some of the issues that people need to think about before finding themselves living on a boat with perhaps little or no knowledge of the rules or practicalities involved.“

IWA supports the rights of boaters to cruise the system without being required to have a home mooring but recognises the difficulties created when large numbers of boaters wish, for whatever reason, to stay within a small area.  IWA supports the provision of more residential moorings in these areas, for people who wish to stay in one place, whilst encouraging those who wish to continuously cruise the waterways system to do so in a way which complies with the rules.  

More information can be found on IWA’s website:
IWA’s Policy on Continuous Cruising 

IWA’s Briefing Note on Visitor Moorings

Advice and Information about Living Afloat 


For further media requests please contact:
Alison Smedley, The Inland Waterways Association
[e] [t] 07779 090915

Notes for Editors
About IWA

IWA campaigns for the use, maintenance and restoration of Britain's inland waterways.
About IWA
Volunteers restoring the waterways. The Waterway Recovery Group is part of IWA.
About WRG