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Scholar Gypsy

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Everything posted by Scholar Gypsy

  1. This really depends on the quality of the Trustees, I've spent some time this morning at a webinar on charity governance, and the importance of paying attention to the Articles of Association, and the delivery of public benefit, was stressed several times.
  2. Rather than an article quoting what someone thinks the IWA is for, this is from their articles of assoication https://www.waterways.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/articles_of_association_16_07.pdf 4 The objects for which the Association is established are: (1) To take over the whole assets of and liabilities of The Inland Waterways Association and to enter into such agreements and to take all such steps as may be necessary for that purpose. (2) For the public benefit to advocate the conservation use maintenance and development of the inland waterways of the British Isles the works relating thereto and any craft or buildings or structures now or previously associated therewith, to advocate and promote the restoration and the maintenance in good condition of such waterways and associated craft and buildings and structures and advocate and promote their fullest use for appropriate commercial and recreational purposes. (3) To educate the public and other bodies about the use and benefits of such waterways whether by the production of leaflets, magazines, the conduct of seminars or workshops or such other means as the Association may from time to time determine. (4) To promote and commission research into inland waterways and publication of the results of such research.
  3. I am sure I have read somewhere that that has been done. 70x10 is not doable. The turn was slightly widened a year or two ago. ML quote Stanground and Ashline as 11'6" (3.50m), though the other two locks to the east are 12' plus.
  4. I will send you a DM in a minute or two I don't think you will get round Briggate.
  5. Here's some detail, including contact details for one of the pilots, Daryl. https://scholargypsy.org.uk/washing/ He did a couple of crossings last year with a Dutch Barge, between Nene and Great Ouse. I can find their contact details if you are interested.
  6. Yes, if it is mechanically propelled it can't be a houseboat. I guess this definition of hosueboat is mainly to distinguish between an unpowered boat (eg rowing boat, kayak, dinghy) that moves, and one that is static. I would have hoped "witnessing a regatta" would count as "entertainment", but maybe for some it is more of a tedious obligation,
  7. And I believe IWA had been thinking about adding Dartford. We spent a week moored in the lock.
  8. Here I am this summer, reversing towards Horseway Lock. I got to within sight ... And this is Great Raveley drain (Woodwalton Fen). I could have got through the sluice but those signs were a bit discouraging ....
  9. I agree. A number of people are keeping a close eye on how this all works out! Tangentially, it sounds as though some progress is being made at Hammersmith,
  10. I happened to notice that CRT have (since last week) added Thames Lock Brentford to the online booking portal. I’ve not checked the logic behind the website yet, but it seems to offer one time on each tide, but with quite a few slots. Not sure yet if it is as good as the previous 0500-2200 availability! https://licensing.canalrivertrust.org.uk/PassageBooking https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/news-and-views/news/we-have-broadened-our-online-passage-booking-offer
  11. Mine (fireangel) always reads zero - well whenever I look at it. This thread reminds me it is time for the annual test - ie getting out the jos sticks and putting the machine into test mode, so it goes off without me having to poison myself.
  12. And here's another photo from 2018, discussions about the new hospital in the background. The Chief Executive (far right) and Andy Street (far left) were already aware of the potential benefits of having a canal on the hospital site!
  13. "I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member." Groucho Marx, ca 1949.
  14. Craftinsure: every five years from 30, and you have to comply with the recommendations in the survey of course. Personally, with a boat that old (mine is now 42) I find the peace of mind quite reassuring, and well worth the survey fee. [Corrected to 30, my memory is going...]
  15. I am a "country member" of my club. That means I can go on cruises and other activities, but I don't have a vote, or a mooring (and don't have to do the work parties). I don't know how common this model is.
  16. Scholar Gypsy

    Throwline

    I agree. I tested mine this summer, while swimming (intentionally) in a lake. I could reach it from the water and pull it down to deploy.
  17. I normally change mine every 5-8 years, largely when I run out of adjustment and the dripping gets a bit much. The latest packing is excellent, I've not tightened it up for a year and i suspect it will last for a long time. So I would have a lot of sympathy for your "if it ain't broke" point. I sometimes have a similar thought when I change my fuel filters, which are invariably pristine. But they are so cheap, and the consequences of a problem more serious, that I continue to change all three every year!
  18. The replacement rope seems to have much more grease impregnated in it. At the moment my stern gland is hardly accepting/using any grease at all. One drip a minute, and working fine. I have checked that the pipe is not blocked. Maybe it needs another enema. https://scholargypsy.org.uk/2019/01/23/enema-and-walkway/
  19. Yes. Here are the three rings of old rope I extracted. A dentist's mirror and torch is also helpful , to look into the slot with minimal contortions.
  20. Latest update from the EA: "Please be aware following a potential case of Coronavirus (Covid-19) that the upstream (non-tidal) landing stage at Denver Lock remains closed and inaccessible due to a boat currently occupying the landing stage following an incident. The boat will remain in situ in its’ current position until it can safely be moved. Navigation and access through the lock is still possible but we advise caution whilst manoeuvring past the moored vessel into and out of the upstream end of Denver lock. Following a disinfectant deep clean the Denver pump-out, water point, Elsan disposal and slipway facility have re-opened but you will still require a navigation key to access the car park and these facilities."
  21. Most of the EA monitoring sites show you levels, but there are a few that show flow rates. I find them more helpful. For example Kingston https://www.gaugemap.co.uk/#!Detail/1249/1382 Maidenhead https://www.gaugemap.co.uk/#!Detail/1132/1230 Sutton Courtney (being fixed shortly) https://www.gaugemap.co.uk/#!Detail/1043/1094 Farmoor near Oxford https://www.gaugemap.co.uk/#!Detail/1001/1037 and there may be some others in between.
  22. Yes, that's all good. I recollect that the policy was introduced at the same as increasingly public sector bodies were given statutory powers to charge for services, to prevent abuse and hidden taxation. (Most budgets are set net of fees, so if you can generate more fees you can employ more staff etc). I have seen a number of examples of the problems with consultancy - the selling into wider markets initiative - which could easily distract the organisation from its core business. International consultancy (lost of air travel etc) was even worse in my experience!
  23. It's always nice to find someone else who has read MPM. I would make a couple of observations: The Treasury (I worked there for the first half of my civil service career) has occasional tendencies to write guidance and/or try to set rules that apply to the whole of the public sector. Formally - ie in law - MPM only applies to central government bodies. So for example the Permanent Secretaries of departments are required to follow it, by their appointment letters, as are chief executives of academy schools (which are classified as part of central government). The external auditors can (and in my experience do, very carefully) check compliance against the many and varied rules in MPM. The formal application to the wider public sector is less clear. Much of MPM is of course very sensible stuff - eg the references to the Nolan principles of public life - but in general I would describe it as good practice guidance rather than rules. You need to look at the legislation that sets up the relevant public body. The status of Internal Drainage Boards (MLC is I think the largest of the 120 or so in England) is decidedly murky. Not surprising for bodies that date back to the 13th Century and the Bill of Sewers passed by Henry VIII in 1531. This fairly recent report by the National Audit Office flags up some of the generic concerns around governance of these bodies, which are described as local independent public bodies. https://www.nao.org.uk/report/internal-drainage-boards/ The NAO carefully avoid making comments about any individual IDB. There's a lot of MLC stuff here, which I have not read yet https://middlelevel.gov.uk/about/internal-drainage-boards/middle-level-commissioners/ much of which implies that IDBs are treated in a similar way to parish and town councils. That makes sense given some of their funding comes from local authorities. Central government does give grants to IDBs, and could use these to influence or control charging policies. So for example there was some central govt funding for the recent upgrade to the main MLC pumping station at Wiggenhall, and I would hope/expect that the grant agreement would have included provisions setting out how the rest of the cost of that scheme should be financed, and over what period the funds were raised and from whom. It's hard to see the provisions of MPM having much wider application than that. Far more important would be the various undertakings given when the Bill went through Parliament, and the provisions of the Act itself (which I have not checked). And finally, the definition of cost is very far from straightforward, especially in organisations that produce joint outputs. There are regular debates with the EA for example about whether weed clearance on the Fenland rivers should be charged to the navigation account or the land drainage account - as the works benefit both outputs. I wouldn't quite want to say you can produce any allocation of costs that you want - you do have to satisfy the auditors that what is done is reasonable - but there is considerable room for debate. In the MLC context, I believe that Salters Lode and Marmont Priory locks are now only needed for navigation purposes, while Stanground and also Ashline have an important role in irrigation in the summer months. To put it another way, there is a huge difference between these two statements. the extra revenue generated from licences, net of enforcement costs, should be spent on new facilities and services for navigation the fully allocated costs of providing navigation services should be financed (but no more) from licence fees. This would be a very painful policy, I suspect! As an aside, worth nothing that the BBC licence fee is now classified as a tax, as are the funds raised by the national lottery for good causes.
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