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Found 24 results

  1. In 2020, CRT gave licence holders an extra month on their annual licence following complaints about boating being virtually prohibited during lockdown. One of my boat licences renewed on 1st March every year so I wasn't due the extra month until 2021. However, licence fees were due to increase from 1st April. Had I accepted the extra month, I would have had to pay for two years' increases in one go and then my annual renewal at the new rates would always happen 11 months sooner. Therefore, I telephoned CRT and asked if I could continue to renew my licence from 1st March. They agreed but insisted on giving me a discount of 8.33% to represent the free month I had not claimed. In 2022, my renewal invitation included a discount of 8.33%! I telephoned CRT and agreed to accept it this time because it would have cost them more to amend my renewal amount invoice. I was assured that no-one else was receiving a similar repeated discount and that my account would be updated before the next renewal. Unfortunately, my 2023 licence renewal invitation still featured a goodwill discount of 8.33%. However, I had decided to sell that boat so I only renewed the licence for six months for which I paid the undiscounted fee. Fortuitously the boat sale concluded on the last day of that licence. Several weeks after the boat had been sold and a licence taken out by the new owner, I had a call from CRT about the credit on my account! I accepted the payment and donated it to a different waterways charity.
  2. Hi Does anyone know what is happening about CaRT dredging the River Churnet section of the Caldon that's been causing a stoppage? Thanks Tony
  3. National User Forum April 2018 I attended the National User Forum in Birmingham on Wednesday;18 April; various presentations which repeated the ones at Council albeit with a boating slant. These are my notes and my recollections; if I have omitted anything, , this is unintentional and these should not be viewed as exhaustive or as minutes. The Trust were both reviewing the last year and looking forward to the coming year. These were all presentations with short opportunity for Q&A - as the meeting is only two hours long - they cram as much in as possible leaving very little time for comment - but that seems to be how they wish to do things - tell us, rather than proper consultation. Julie Sharman, Chief Operating Officer - new Structure of Regions which takes effect from the 4 June 2018. She put some slides up but as I was at the back of the room I couldn’t see them (perhaps this is a good thing) - some Regional Directors are external appointments so may not be in place on $Th June due to notice periods. Reservoirs are full, boding well for coming boating season. Rebranding was then talked about and how the Trust needs to reposition itself and have a new image and the need to improve the awareness, currently at approx 36% meaning that 64% have no awareness of who Canal and River Trust are and what they do. This needs to be improved for funding in the future as the Government funding of £53m ends in 2027 and they start renegotiations in 2021 for the grant to continue - they see the canals as “National Health Waterway” and are to reposition as a Waterways and Wellbeing Charity and will be applying a new logo from 22 May - round and in blue and green to fit in digitally. First and foremost the Trust is a navigation body and without a functioning navigation there can be no spin off benefit for other users. Navigation therefore remains core to CRT and is reflected in the ongoing spending plans. Jon Horsfall, Interim Head of Boating, introduced the next section on boating and Matthew Symonds had a presentation taking us through the changes -  The London Mooring Strategy has been generally positively received; with 75% viewing it positively - there are improvements to Towpath moorings, increased management of short stay moorings, improved services in Outer London, creation of new offside Long Term Moorings and improved boater services to be implemented 2018/19. Annual Boaters Survey showed there were less boats in central London and evidence that boats are moving outwards in the recent boater number survey conducted in March.The growth of licensed boats in London slowed with only 150 new; compared with 400 in previous years and nationwide there were an additional 400 boats listed without a home mooring and CC. Licence evasion nationwide had fallen to 3.1% from 4% although there was a light increase in London of 5.1% Widebeams - recognition that there are many more widebeams than previously - 18% over 7’1” wide and they are being taken both on canals not built for widebeams both in width and profile. Approach is by communication - guidance issued on which waterways are considered unsuitable for unrestricted wide beam movement; individual issues will be addressed by communications with boaters concerned with enforcement seen as a last resort Licence Review - begins April 2019, phased in over five years -reduction in Prompt Payment Discount to 2.5%, with additional 2.5% for everyone paying by Direct Debit or online to allow a discount to those boaters who may not be able to afford to pay the licence annually. Width criteria phased in from in April 2020, historic and electric boat discounts still to be reviewed, wooden boats discount remains Further work to look at options addressing growth in use of canals in London and other areas by boats without a home moorings No difference for boats with or without a home mooring Business licence renewal now available online, further consultation regarding Licences to be held in the future Reasonable Adjustment requests for reduction in cruising pattern are now being received at an average of 20-30 per month. There were over 700 in place last year. To ensure a standard approach nationwide a “Capability to Cruise” questionnaire has been trialled from Jan 2018 and NABO and other groups are helping to refine the questions asked - this is to ensure the Trust fulfils its obligations under the Equality Act 2010. Water sports/un-Powered Craft - guidelines produced The online mooring strategy is being worked on and is expected in the summer 2018 Next was a presentation by Peter Walker - Technical Support very outwardly facing dealing with things like major infrastructure projects, Acquisitions and Hydrology. Currently busy with HS2 which will reach Curzon St Birmingham in 2026 and Phase 2a in 2027. 2a construction will be active 2020 to 2026 and has 50 points of impact on CRT either live waterways or potential restoration sites. They are asking boaters to be eyes and ears for the Trust to ensure that nothing unexpected is implemented in the construction phase. Please be alert to anything untoward and report it in immediately to the helpline. The various phases will have a significant impact but CRT is doing what it can to lessen impacts such as sound deadening fences.and he assured that the various CRT impacts will not result in multi month route closures with most being overnight or 24 hour stoppages as beams are swung into place. Stuart Mills - Chief Investment Officer was next giving us a brief outline of what the Trust does to maximise revenue to use for maintenance of the waterway structure . In 2012 CRT inherited a £615m endowment of assets to provide income.and since then the aim has been to grow capital and enhance investment income, with the aim to generate an 8% return with modest amounts of income volatility. The portfolio has changed over time to improve returns and simplify management. In 2011/12 investment income was £21.7m and this has risen to £30.4m in 2017/18, with assets growing in value to £850m The investment portfolio has grown well and is delivering increasing amounts of income which are available to be spent on operational improvement projects. The new Asset Improvement Director, Simon Bamford, delivered the news about the Marple Flight opening being put back until the end of May owing to the state of the Brickwork at the bottom of Lock 15, the one that collapsed. They were given Postcode Lottery money so used it to do a “Marple Makeover” extra work on the flight in addition to Lock Gate replacement - locks have been repointed, gates repaired and replace and a new surface and washwall on Pound 12. In addition a new railing has been placed on the Aqueduct at the bottom of the flight £60m was spent last winter plus between £10m to £15m of third party money (mainly on towpaths) - third party are where a development is taking place so the trust secures funding. In house staff undertook 1000 work packages spending £17m including 257 emergency projects and 180 gates made / fitted. A further £30m was spent on contractors at 160 larger projects £7.8m was spent on dredging in 38 sites, £1m spent grouting locks, £1.4m spent on offside vegetation control, 40,000 dog and litter bins emptied, 27,000 customer/boater service visits made Middlewich breach caused by overtopping attributed to paddles being left open and not asset failure with 3000 cubic feet of material washed away. There is now a solution being worked on to build a road along the canal bed with the active badger sett to be worked in later in the project as it is on the opposite bank. The narrowing of Filance Lock on the Staffs and Worcester was addressed last winter, £500k will be spent addressing the bottom lock at Hurleston next winter. A priority list is being worked through to tackle the known pinch point locks. Spend is split as follows - West 34%, Midlands 29%, North 20% & South 17% As we had then run out of time there was no other business and Richard Parry wrapped the meeting up. The walk back to New Street Station in the brilliant sunshine made the train journey worthwhile and thankfully my train ran on time and I had a seat after the train down was cancelled and I stood most of the way there. .
  4. Email from CRT below - I have not edited it at all -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I am not aware that I have signed up for this - does the fact that I have previously renewed using my debit card confer any right on their part to use it again? Does that imply that they have stoted the 3 digit security code (which ISTR is not legal?) "in making you application..." the one I'm not making, the one they are making on my behalf? I'm not a CRT basher on the whole, but this doesn't sit comfortably with me Any thoughts?
  5. Just a bit of a moan really, but I do feel a bit ripped off as far as my license fee with crt. I first bought a license for the 25th May 2016, so lost 3 1/2 weeks right off the bat. This year I moved off crt waters on the 10th March - so lost the rest of that month (another 3 weeks). So finally I got to refund what was left - a month. Less a £30 admin fee All in all, that's around 8 weeks fees (or 150 odd quid) "lost" in just two years. Just to add insult to injury, I'm still paying car insurance for a car I no longer have as it actually costs as much to cancel the policy as to let it run. The man really knows how to stick it to ya.
  6. Canal and River Trust Council Meeting March 2018 The following is my report - I have used some notes from Andy Tidy’s report (mostly the finances as he explains it better than I could) As these are my recollections from notes they are not designed as an exact record and are not minutes. Therefore , they should not be accepted as such. We were invited to York this year. Owing to constraints of dialysis, I opted to do a long day - getting up at 4.45am, getting a train at 6am and arriving at York at 8.15am, where we were met by two young ladies from the Leeds Office with a sign and everything. Once everyone that was coming by train arrived, it was a short stroll to the bus taking us the 6 miles to Naburn Lock - a fascinating place - Kenny, the Lock keeper has been there over 30 years - his cottage is flooded on average 5 times a year and he remains remarkably sanguine about this fact. It is a beautiful place and although the Trust operate the navigation of the River Ouse, the only land the Trust own is the island, stables and lock-keepers cottage, 6 miles outside York. There is a caravan park next door (a good catchment area) and the river cruises start and return here taking passengers into York - the challenge now for the Trust is to make the island at Naburn Locks a tourist destination and teaching place, to this end they are redeveloping the old wharf offices and making them flood resistant, this entails stripping plaster off walls and pitting drain holes in the floors. It was a lovely morning - sunny and the river had subsided enough for our cruise to happen. It is the only real chance you get to meet other council members and Trustees, much “networking”. We arrived at the pier and a short walk to the Yorkshire Museum through the gardens ahead of the showers. The Council meeting ran from 11.30am to 4.30pm with a short break for lunch. There is always a dinner in the evenings for the Trustees and local businessmen and councillors - a chance to drum up funding opportunities for both the local Waterway area and the Trust nationally. The day is normally a series of presentations on what the Trust has been doing by senior managers and this was no different really - a slight emphasis on looking forward and as there are only two meetings a year - the other is in September and the morning is the Public Meeting., so this is the longest meeting. I could not get to Bath last year as I had dialysis that day; so this was the first meeting I had been to since the first meeting in Liverpool two years ago. Allan Leighton opened the meeting and then we had Richard Parry’s report with him reporting the following: towpath satisfaction at 91% although awareness that the Trust maintains the towpath is only at 36% (a lot of people believe are local government operated and maintained), the target was 40%, there are 23,500 Friends of the Trust. The Trust had a turnover of £200m and a small surplus of £800k. Income included a £2.7m grant from the Postcode Lottery ( most of which has been spent on the Marple Flight and Aqueduct). Income was higher than budgeted for.  A recent High Court Judgement in the Trust’s favour in the Thames Water -v- CRT, which may mean additional income in the future. Planned 240 winter stoppages and 180 lock gates replaced, quadrants on the Eastern side of the Huddersfield had to be replaced due to subsidence. Eight open days (2 had to be cancelled due to the snow) and attracted 15,000 visitors. Safe guarding, especially in view of recent revelations in other charities, they have procedures and processes in place for visitors, volunteers and staff. New regional structure, due to be in place on the 4 June, as 18 posts of the 60 posts (reduced from 78) still have to be filled, only 27 of these new managerial posts are Senior, with the Regional Directors in place in April. No gender pay gap exists within the Trust Main gender pay is -3.6% and Median pay Gap = -13.8% Julie Sharman, the new Chief Operating Officer, reported on the following River Lea Navigation at Pyms Brook - a tanker full of oil was illegally dumped in the brook and has been very difficult to clear up and has resulted in a 5 week stoppage; there is an ongoing police and EA investigation the recent drowning in Manchester and the temporary barrier erected to prevent people crossing the lock across the lock gates rather than the bridge 30 feet away Middlewich Breach, which although not as big as Dutton in 2012 has challenges regarding access - fortunately, there was no damage to houses and they have set up a Just Giving Page. As with all unplanned stoppages this diverts contingencies and means planned works are put further back on the plan. Business Plan 2018-19 Focus is on Caring For the Waterways, Sustaining Waterways and moving to becoming to a Waterway and Wellbeing Trust; to extend its aims to a wider audience. The quality of contractors used is being closely scrutinised following well known issues with Carillion etc. The EA transfer now appears unlikely. BWML is seen as a non core operation and a buyer is being sought. £8.4m to be spent on dredging, £20.6m on operational (culverts, aqueducts etc) Dame Jenny Abramsky - appointments committee chair Terms of Reference amended to reflect the new Regional Advisory Boards and recruitment of chairs is under-way in the 6 regions with definition of the minimum and maximum number of seats on regional committees. Following the departure of some experienced trustees replacements are being sought National Council Review Group discussions took place and concluded that a Council Member handbook would be of benefit, defining what a council member does and more importantly doesn’t do, how its is done and how best to maximise the influence membership offers. The trust should look at a way of partial refreshment of members rather then everything en masse Should clarify the roles of appointed and elected council members Maybe the use of smaller sub groups, such as the boaters reps meeting would be beneficial Long Term Debt (these are Andy Tidy’s notes, as his explanation is brilliant) Stuart Mills (Chief Investment Officer and Sandra Kelly (Finance Director) At its inception it was agreed that the Trust should carry some debt, initially via a £25m revolving credit line upped to £50m in 2016. This debt was consolidated in a private bond placement of £150m at the end of 2017. This debt is agreed over a 30 year term at less than 3% in offering stability. The money is invested in the Trust's investment portfolio of which property is making 10.8% and non property 9%. In effect the trust is borrowing cheaply based on its asset base and inherent strength, investing the money is assets which are earning a return which is higher than the financing costs and the difference (called arbitrage) is profit applied to the trusts wider operations. (Andy comment 1. Don’t get blinded by this high finance stuff. In simple terms the trust owns investment assets of £800m which is an endowment providing income. They see an opportunity to make more money from this source and are borrowing some long term money to buy more commercial property. Its a bit like a glorified "buy to let" where you use the value of your home to support a cheap second mortgage to buy another property which you then let out.) The private placement was to a number of well known North American and European institutions which, we were assured, do not carry reputational risks. (Andy's comment - I am comfortable with this overall arrangement which appears prudent and well stress tested, however, as with personal debt, a bit is fine but one can overdo things. The Trustees assured us that they have no current intention of any further placements beyond £150m and in my view any further increase in long term debt should be discussed before it is entered into) Licensing John Horsfall (Interim Head of Boating) 32,000 leisure licenses and 1,000 business licenses covering 32,000 craft, generating £27m of income He did say boaters should be major advocates for the Trust The rules covering licensing are within the BW Act of 1995, and there has been a dramatic increase in the number of boats used as dwelling since the act was passed, particularly in the London and K&A. (My comment - the majority recently are boats without a home mooring - this is partly choice but also because of a general lack of permanent moorings in these areas) John made mention of the choice that people make to live in these areas - London Mooring Strategy is still to be issued. The recent review is about fairness, not income generation. With this goal in mind they have opted t give 2.5% discount to all those paying DD whether annually or monthly. Consultation elicited 11,000 responses and an overriding desire was to see area included in the calculation; however, they decided against area as there would have been those who ended up paying a greater fee. The announcement has so far generated 15 to 20 complaints. All changes are being phased in. Some areas such as discounts such as Electric, Historic and areas of high demand and are subject to further ongoing review to ensure that they deliver the desired outcomes. Brand Update Nicky Wakeford Brand awareness has been growing and has risen from 30% in April 2016 to 36% today (the target was 40% for this year) The cascade of engagement is : Beneficiary (say towpath user) to Follower (Social media) to Friend and then Volunteer. The slower than expected growth in public awareness is a major issue as it is inextricably linked with the bid for further government grant funding when the existing package expires. Focus groups were convened to identify the key message needed. Well Being emerged as the key message the Trust are not communicating - the benefits of being able to spend time beside water which has a proven link with people’s emotional and physical wellbeing. The resulting strapline is "making life better by water". This altered strapline will be accompanied by a change of logo, a circle shape in blue and green to give a better fit on towpath and digitally; they wouldn’t show us the new logo but it will be launched on 21 May with all web based screens changing that day, and everything else replaced as they roll out (I have subsequently discovered offices have not been ordering headed paper in preparation) and it will be on a 2 to 3 year roll out The cost is from within the existing Marketing budget and we are assured that this exercise has not involved expensive consultancies; the main cost being a graphic designer for the new logo. My comment - I have to say I had more messages concerning this than anything else - particularly as the breach and lock closure have closed both the Cheshire and Four Counties Ring in the North. So I asked on the behalf of boaters - why now? Why not tell us the cost? Nicky responded that it was within the existing marketing budget with no extra funds going towards it, Time marches on and with the government grant coming to the end of its term the Trust needs to raise its profile - it is the 18th largest but the Woodland Trust is better know than them and without the government grant there would be a 25% income gap which cannot be filled with the existing other income strands. So in order that they can maintain the waterways into the future both online and towpath presence needs to be increased, so that the government can see the benefits of supporting the waterways as a health benefit for the wider land based communities in cleaning the air in urban areas and the transportation of both water and goods. I have to say I understand the need for increasing awareness but to announce into a vacuum was not the smartest move in my humble opinion. All we have is that it is modern and will influence people who are not influenced now. The meeting then closed - the annual meeting is in Birmingham in September and there are Boaters’ Rep Meetings in the interim, so please get in touch with any comments, questions I can pass on.
  7. Dear All, This email from CRT will not lift as text to paste here so here is the link from the CRT site: https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/media/original/25011-protector-gives-canal-and-river-trusts-investment-performance-a-clean-bill-of-health.pdf Edit to add title should read HEALTH
  8. After repeated requests to CRT I still cannot find out what has happened to the lift, the "comment serious structural" failure is being used but no one seems able to expand on that. Does anyone know what has happened?
  9. I have rather noticed that the multitude of so called "Press releases" from CRT in my email has completely dried up. Friday night always saw at least one along with a "Boaters update", this too has dissapeared. Is this a sign of major internal re orginisation in the works or have they just cut back or worse forgot?
  10. I have just received the latest stoppage notice from CRT, with the closing of the Fazeley offices we are losing the waste disposal facilities. The water tap and the Elsan disposal will remain.
  11. I assume that CRT are selling it and not giving it away. On the Trent and Mersey Canal a short way south of Park Farm Marina the farmer now has planning consent to build a marina on one of the flashes, this of course belongs to CRT. Today there is a notice on the towpath opposite with a map that states they plan to "dispose" of this bit of water/land. I hope you can read it OK as I photographed it as I passed.
  12. ..CC Justine Lee Today at 11:13 2016 Annual PUBLIC Meeting The Canal & River Trust’s Annual Public Meeting will take place at 10am on Thursday 22 September, 2016, at Austin Court, Birmingham. At the meeting you will be able to hear from the directors of the Trust and find out more about our work, achievements and plans for the future. Tickets can be booked free of charge at http://canalrivertrustapm2016.eventbrite.com Kind regards, Justine Justine Lee Corporate Communications Manager Canal & River Trust T: 07917 804550 E: Justine.lee@canalrivertrust.org.uk W: www.canalrivertrust.org.uk Follow me on Twitter: @CRTJustine
  13. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  14. Went through barrowford locks good Friday returning today ( in the snow !!!) and nearly fainted every piece of paddle gear was working and copious quantities of grease in evidence.... A number of gates have been replaced over winter and the lock keeper last summer seemed to make quite a difference too. I think there really has been an marked increase in maintenance on this part of the L&L in the last few years as CRT seem to have directed some long overdue money this way.
  15. Hi, Just wondered whether you are allowed to Air ba nd b a room in your boat if you are living in it? Does this affect your license? Cheers, Will
  16. press release Issued: 1 October 2013 CANAL & RIVER TRUST AGREES NEW CONTRACTS TO GIVE IMPROVED SERVICES FOR WATERWAY VISITORS Boaters and other visitors to the waterways will see improvements to key customer services after the Canal & River Trust agreed even better value contracts for vital day-to-day maintenance tasks such as grass cutting, waste collection and cleaning of facilities. After a competitive tendering process the Trust has agreed improved contracts with existing providers OCS Fountains for its Vegetation & Environmental Services and Biffa for its Waste Management. The contracts, between them worth over £10 million per year, will ensure greater consistency and give savings that can be invested in other important maintenance works. The contract with OCS Fountains started today and will cover grass cutting, maintenance of hedges and trees, cleaning of facilities and the collection of floating litter from some of the country’s busiest urban waterways. As well as towpaths, moorings and lock sides the contract will see grass cut on public areas, picnic sites and reservoir embankments up to six times a year - the equivalent of 242 football pitches each time. Contractors will also carry out a regular programme of cleaning at all toilet and facility blocks as well as spending the equivalent of 160 working days per year clearing floating litter from the water. The contract has been set up to be more efficient, replacing several regional contracts. As a result the Trust will save around £1million per year and visitors can expect to see more consistent standards across the network. The Biffa contract will, for the first time, see all waste and hazardous material from the Trust’s mooring sites, facilities blocks, offices and operational depots handled by one provider. The contract also started today and will see 58,000m3 of waste removed each year – enough to fill around 6000 large skips. The contract will enable an increase in the amount of waste that is recycled through the introduction of more recycling bins and increased sorting of waste disposed of in regular bins. From the outset a minimum of 50% of waste disposed of in bins and skips will be diverted from landfill with a target of increasing this to 90% over the course of the contract. Importantly both contracts include measures for giving customers more detailed information on progress, for example, information on recycling rates at specific busy sites or user-friendly information on vegetation works on the Trust’s website. The contracts were agreed following a competitive tendering process which saw six contractors bid in detail and interviewed for the work. Both contracts are for an initial five year period with the option of an additional two – longer agreements aimed at encouraging greater capital investment, innovation and improvement in services. Vince Moran, operations director for the Trust, said; “These contracts will make a real difference to people’s experience of the waterways, particularly boaters. We know that it’s the day-to-day things that really matter to people and we’re pleased that we’ve been able to agree contracts that deliver real improvements whilst freeing up money that can be spent on other important maintenance. “It was a very competitive bidding process and that’s only been a good thing for everyone that enjoys the waterways and we look forward to working with our partners over the coming years”. Richard Jowett, environmental services director for OCS Fountains, said: “Fountains has developed a comprehensive understanding of the Trust’s waterways, their users and the important historical, and ecologically significant, assets their staff are entrusted with managing and protecting. “Our bespoke facilities management and geospatial information system (GIS), built by Fountains specifically for this contract, will provide the Trust’s staff, and waterway users, with an unparalleled visibility of our planned and delivered work programme, in support of providing an excellent and transparent service. “We are very much looking forward to building on our eight years of experience on the waterways and continuing to engage with the many canal users to enhance their visit.” Mark Chapman, corporate account manager for Biffa, said; “We’re looking forward to continuing the good work we’ve already started with the Trust and to extending the range of services that we provide. Our national capability and strategic focus on proactively increasing recycling rates within our client-base place us in an ideal position to meet, and surpass, their environmental goals. “Furthermore, the data that our systems enable us to provide will give the Trust all the information needed to promote their good work to the general public. This can only serve to enhance their environmental performance further through helping to obtain much-needed public buy-in to their recycling and waste reduction activities”. ENDS For further media requests please contact: Stephen Hardy, communications manager, Canal & River Trust t 01636 675703 m 07920 077190 e stephen.hardy@canalrivertrust.org.uk
  17. From Jonathan Ludford Today at 11:42 AM 27 June 2014 Canal & River Trust’s heritage credentials given top marks The Canal & River Trust’s heritage credentials have been given top marks over the last financial year following successful repairs to hundreds of listed or scheduled structures. The conservation works, which included repairs to numerous locks, including the Caen Hill Lock Flight, as well as bridges and aqueducts, were subject to heritage consent or clearance from either local planning authorities, English Heritage or Cadw. The year came to a close without a single compliance issue raised by the regulators; a feat given the number and level of works carried out by the Trust and its volunteers. The Trust carried out 261 works requiring heritage consent or clearance plus hundreds more works to historic canal infrastructure that, because they were not listed, didn’t require specific clearance. Sir Neil Cossons, Britain's leading authority on industrial heritage, former chairman of English Heritage and independent chair of the Trust’s heritage advisory group, comments: “The nation’s canal heritage is amongst the finest examples of industrial heritage in the world. In the Canal & River Trust we have a real champion looking after it. “The age and nature of the canal network together with its importance makes for a hugely challenging and rewarding task for the Trust. Very few organisations have to carry out such large numbers of heritage conservation works each year and few organisations manage to achieve this level of performance.” Nigel Crowe, head of heritage at the Trust, comments: “The nation’s ageing canal network is a unique window onto our industrial past. We have a long list of conservation works planned for the year ahead and a lot more to do besides. One of the things we are working towards is a National Listed Building Consent Order that would allow us to perform certain specific works without the need for repeat consents. So it’s very important to us that the quality and standard of our workmanship is as high as possible. It’s the same if we’re conserving an internationally renowned aqueduct or a much loved local landmark, a structure that has the highest level of designation or a heritage detail that’s without any protection. Our standards should be equally high and thanks to the support of our Friends and volunteers we’ll continue to do the very best we can for the heritage of the waterways.” Ends For media requests please contact: 020 32044514
  18. From Jonothan Ludford Extra funding for canals from players of People’s Postcode Lottery The Canal & River Trust is delighted to confirm that players of People’s Postcode Lottery have today (17 June 2014) awarded an extra £50,000 to its charitable work for 2014, bringing the total amount awarded to the Trust in 2014 to £225,000. The Trust is one of 40 good causes to receive the extra funding with the support from players making a huge difference to hundreds of communities via numerous local groups as well as national and international charities. Ruth Ruderham, head of fundraising at the Canal & River Trust, comments: “The extra award of funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery is wonderful news and comes on top of the announcement earlier this year that the Canal & River Trust had been named Charity of the Year by the charity lottery. “The extra funding will help our work to improve the canals and make them very special places for people to use and enjoy, as well as havens for wildlife. We’re particularly looking at a project that will help further connect communities with their local canal – working with people to adopt and take particular pride for their local stretch of waterway.” Just last month it was announced that players have awarded over £40 million to charities and good causes and in January, People’s Postcode Lottery and their sister lotteries in the Netherlands and Sweden were collectively announced as the second largest charitable private donor in the world. This news was announced by British business-focused newspaper City AM. In total over £4.9 billion has been awarded to good causes across the globe. -ENDS- For further information, call the Canal & River Trust press office: 020 32044514
  19. From Fran Read: Today at 9:48 AM CANAL & RIVER TRUST LAUNCHES BOAT OWNER ATTITUDE TRACKER This month the Canal & River Trust is starting a new survey of boaters, the Boat Owner Attitude Tracker (BOAT), to keep up-to-date with boaters’ thoughts and feelings between the existing biennial survey. Listening and responding to boaters is at the heart of the Trust’s new strategy and the survey will track the ‘word on the cut’. Starting in June, there will be three waves of research every year. The views of around 1,000 randomly selected boaters will be gathered each time, with invitations sent out by independent research agency BDRC Continental, who is conducting the survey for the Trust. The survey will be sent to different boaters each time and, over the next two years, it is expected that all boaters who have registered their email address with the boat licensing office will have been invited to take part. Richard Parry, Canal & River Trust chief executive, said: “Hearing what boaters are saying is vital if we are going to build better understanding of their priorities, and broaden our thinking about how we can make the very best of the waterways in our care. This new regular survey will help us tap into how boaters feel about the Trust, and their experience of using our canals and rivers. We’ll be able to use this information to help us plan our works programme, and to address any areas where we may be falling short. If you receive an invitation to take part in the survey please do take part – sharing your feedback will make a difference.” A short report on key attitudes will be published after each round of the BOAT. ENDS For further media requests please contact: Fran Read, national press officer, Canal & River Trust m 07796 610 427 e fran.read@canalrivertrust.org.uk
  20. From Jonathan Ludford Today at 4:52 PM press release 24 June 2014 Canal & River Trust focusses on the customer As part of its renewed focus on improving customer service, the Canal & River Trust is today (24 June) announcing a series of changes in the way its teams are organised. The new structure, which has been developed over recent months by, and in consultation with, staff from across the charity, underpins the Trust’s ten-year strategy and aims to create much stronger connections between the charity and the millions of people who use and enjoy its waterways each year. The Trust’s 11 waterway units will have greater focus on delivering excellent customer service to boaters and other visitors, growing the numbers and range of volunteering opportunities, improving day-to-day operation, and working with Waterways Partnerships to create ever closer relationships with local communities and stakeholders. The technical responsibility for looking after the condition of the thousands of bridges, locks, wildlife sites and other assets which the Trust cares for will be brought together into a national team – overseeing the planning and delivery of engineering works on behalf of the waterways. To support the changes a new head of customer service will be recruited, reporting directly to the chief executive and taking on the responsibility for leisure boating, licensing and enforcement as well as leading wider customer service changes. The role, which will be externally advertised, will be covered on an interim basis by Dean Davies, currently waterway manager for the West Midlands. In addition the Trust’s head of planning, Heather Clarke, will take on a new broader role as head of strategy and planning, reporting to the chief executive, with a remit to continue to develop the Trust’s strategy to fulfil its vision of living waterways that transform places and enrich lives. Richard Parry, chief executive of the Canal & River Trust, explains: “As we mark our second anniversary, we can look back on two years of progress – with many of the new aspects of becoming a charity well developed, and changing how the organisation functions. We have many achievements to be proud of – from the growth in volunteering to the new local partnerships we have formed. Now that the Trust is in charge of its own destiny, it needs to become a strategy and customer-led organisation. The changes I’ve announced are not being driven by cost reduction but by our need to become more customer and community focused, and to ensure we’re organised in the best way to achieve our goals. “Our future success requires us to continue to change how we do things; to engage with all those who use or visit our waterways, or live alongside them, in a different way, to make customer service and community involvement central to how we operate. I have been really encouraged by the positive contribution I have heard from colleagues. It is heartening to see that people right across the organisation see the case for change and are looking forward to it. Whilst some more development work is required, including mapping people into revised roles, we look forward to implementing the new structure in the autumn.” Ends For media requests please contact: 020 32044514
  21. Comments from members of this forum about the plight of Rod Taylor and his eviction from Poplar Dock Marina have made me question just how much unity there is now in the boating world and worse, how fragmented and dog eat dog we have become... The topic started with a straight forward post and has gone through so much back biting and frankly, self effacing "you bought a boat so you should expect this and think yourself lucky" it is now reminding me of, at best a Python sketch and at worst we should expect to be treated as Second Class Citizens.... I will declare now that I am fully in favour of regulation. I will take that further in that if a Marina operator is good then they have no fear of regulation. Any operator who says regulation may stop them trading should be stopped. Please comment on the topic and start your own if you want to contemplate your navel Andy
  22. There is a report on the latest CRT Council Meeting on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/659329964711749/permalink/778180522826692/
  23. Is it just me or are some of these new signs a bit silly and pointless.....
  24. I've just seen this Waterways' Round Robin type of newsletter/email thing. I'm sure we all get them. Full of happy smiling mixed race families gambolling joyfully near the cut. Enjoying every pastime you can think of except for rioting, they can even be seen sitting with legs curled under them on a mud free wide towpath without a doggy doo in sight. Then I scrolled down to see this ..... The blurb waffled on about details of angling societies to contact and where they advertise their competitions etc. Wouldn't it just be simpler for all concerned if they just said ..... Want to go torturing fish? Then go try ....... * The Lake District * A harbour wall * The River Severn above Stourport * The Trent above Shardlow * A reservoir * The Grampians Just trying to help. PS .... The M1, Up Ben Nevis, Meadow Hall, Victoria Coach Station ......
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