NCBA Annual Conference and AGM 2015 – Towpath Talk, April 2015

In this issue Derek Stansfield, chairman and director of training for the National Community Boat Association, shares information from the annual report he presented to the NCBA’s AGM and conference on March 19

Chairman’s Report 2015

The following is précis of the report given by the Chairman of the NCBA to the AGM on 19th March 2015.

Last year it was reported that the previous year had been a challenging one for the NCBA and that we had managed to rise and meet that challenge.  This year has been no less of a challenge in consolidating the work we had done over that year and establishing a base for future stability.

Our administration is now firmly established in Darlaston with Walsall Borough Council undertaking the administration and finance for us on a contract basis.  We have now completed a full financial year with this arrangement and it does seem to have worked successfully, albeit with one or two slight glitches.  The aim at the start of the year was to try and maintain the level of service that has been provided in the past whilst at the same time doing this on a balanced budget, and our accounts show that we have achieved this objective, whilst hopefully maintaining a satisfactory level for our members..

Officials of the NCBA have met with Richard Parry CEO of the CRT, at the CRT offices in Atherstone, which was basically to get to know each other’s organisation better and how we could move forward together.  Both parties agreed that this was a useful and informative meeting and are looking forward to working together. A step is being taken in this regard on the issue of volunteering and Cassie Weaver will be delivering a presentation on this at the Annual conference presentation.

Last year we produced several articles in the Towpath Talk magazine, one on the NCBA itself and another on the training structure within the NCBA.  This has now developed into a regular half page feature in Towpath. Many features have been able to showcase our Projects, which in turn has illustrated the diversity of our organisation.  At present we are exploring a similar arrangement with Canal Boating Times.  In addition we have a Facebook page and a Twitter account

With the election of three new Trustee members to the Board, The National Training Committee has been able to revert back to their allotted role of concentrating purely on the training aspects of the NCBA.

The National Training Committee, which consists of nine members from all geographical regions of the NCBA meets on a quarterly basis.  Amongst the issues addressed over the past year include:

  • Moderation of ATCs and reallocation of Moderators
  • Revision and arrangement of Course Notes
  • Trainer and Refresher Training courses
  • Review of the Training Regulations
  • Renewal process for the CCBM

During the past year 16 new Trainers have been registered and the following number of certificates issued:

Community Crew Course                           53
Boat Handling Course                            60
Certificate of  Community Boat Management      100
CCBM Revalidations                              40
Trainers                                        16
Trainer Revalidation                             8

The NTC is also exploring the option of devising a one day course for boat handlers aimed in the main at boat hirers.

Jim Marshall, who has been a long serving member of the NTC, has now stood down from the NTC, who recorded their appreciation and thanks for all the valuable work that Jim has put into the role over many years.

Whilst Training is probably the strongest of the NCBA four pillars it is by no means the only one and equal regard is given to National Voice, Networking and Support.  In order to ensure that these retain their importance to the NCBA an action plan for the coming two years is required that will establish a sustainable foundation for these three pillars so they are able to support the NCBA with the same robustness as does the training.  That is the challenge facing the NCBA over the next two years.

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