CRT is carrying out its first boater census during August and September 2022 in order to better understand who is on its waterways and what their needs are. NBTA activist Dave Mendes da Costa, who is one of the boater representatives on the CRT Council, encourages liveaboard boaters to complete it. He said “I know how hard it can be to access basic services like a GP and have seen the obstacles which many in our community face when bringing up children aboard or acting as carers. This census provides the first opportunity for boaters to give the Trust a full picture of these challenges, whether that’s finding places to maintain our boats, access to health services or barriers to claiming benefits. The more boaters who complete the census the better the Trust can understand our needs so I’d encourage everyone to take part.” The census is voluntary and anonymous, and cannot be linked to individuals or boats. CRT said that the information will help it to both plan how it meets boaters’ needs, and also to engage other agencies, such as national and local government; health providers; public services; and other partners, to meet the needs of boaters.
Unfortunately the information collected from boaters in the 2021 Census carried out by the Government does not separate boat dwellers from people living in other types of mobile dwellings, so neither CRT nor the NBTA can access distinct information about liveaboard boaters.
The CRT census is online only and cannot be completed on paper. CRT says that boaters who don’t have internet access should contact them on 0303 040 4040 and “we will try to arrange to do it with you over the phone”. If you know other boaters without internet access, please encourage them to contact CRT to do the census over the phone. You can also contact CRT to do the census if you use its waterways frequently but your boat is kept elsewhere.
CRT will be sending a unique link to complete the boater census to every boat licence holder who has provided an email or mobile phone number during August. The deadline is 30th September 2022, and CRT will send out reminders before that date.
The link to complete the CRT census is https://canalrivertrust.welcomesyourfeedback.net/census22
The NBTA has put together a briefing for members who are unsure about completing it. See Information for NBTA members about CRT censusV2