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Ray T

Notes of the C&RT Press Briefing at Hatton 11th June 2019-06-20

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PRESS BRIEFING

Notes of the C&RT  Press  Briefing at Hatton

11th June 2019-06-20

 

 

General Update

 

The Trust’s finances have operated in 18/19 with a small surplus achieved.

Income is over £210m; with Waterway spend up to nearly £140m. This represents an increase on 2017/18 figures of circa 2%.

 

Volunteer numbers have increased, achieving over 670,000 hours plus over 250 adoptions.

 

Friends of The Trust are up to nearly 29,000. With newsletter sign-ups and active social media contact the current estimate of supporters is in the region of 400k.

 

Safety figures are a cause of concern as the internal accident frequency is worse than 2017/18. This is being addressed internally.

 

The Trust’s Annual report will be published in July.

The Annual Public meeting will be on the 19th September in Birmingham.

 

The new Regional structures are now mostly in place which include, Regional Operations Manager, Boating & Customer Service Manager, Community Engagement Manager, Partnerships & External relations Manager, Strategic Programmes Delivery Manager, and Heritage & Environment Manager.

 The directors being:

 

London & S E, Ros Daniels.

East Midlands, Phil Mulligan.

Yorkshire & the N E, Sean McGinley.

West Midlands, Adnan Saif.

Wales & S W, Jon Horsfall – interim director.

North West,  Daniel Greehalgh.

 

Regional Advisory Board managers are:

North West, Prof. Nigel Weatherill, West Midlands, John Hudson OBE, South West David Hagg, Yorkshire & NE Caroline Schwaller MBE, East Midlands, Anil Majitha and London & SE Sir William Atkinson.

 

Major Projects 2019/20

 

A budget of over £28m is available for over 100 projects consisting of:

£5m for water management including reservoirs.

£6m for embankments and culverts.

£2m for locks and £8m allocated for dredging.

 

Third party funded works will include:

Unlocking the Severn fish passes.

Titford Polls improvement, clearance of contaminants.

Multiple towpath improvements

Work on the Stainton Aqueduct on the Lancaster Canal

Refurbishment of the Roundhouse in Birmingham.

 

Main Priority Projects for 2019/2

 

Lune Embankments, Lancaster Canal - £1.5m

Palmerston & Lower Peak Embankment, Macclesfield Canal - £1m

Upper & Lower Peak Forest dredging - £1m

Hurleston Lock No 4, Llangollen Canal -  £900k

Islington Tunnel & Portals, Regents Canal -  £750k

Leeds & Liverpool leak reduction project - £750k

Floudes culvert replacement K & A canal - £700k

 

Marple Lock No 11 restoration is now complete and it was reopened on 24th May.

Finsley Embankment Leeds & Liverpool canal. Lining works complete and a clay cut off trench is being constructed across the canal bed.

The work is on schedule to be completed by 18th June.

 

In house team work.

 

The total value of the work is in the region of £16.3m. 661 work packages have been planned and are being delivered.

115 lock gate leaves are pritorised for replacement with 103 lock gates to be realigned to improve water management. Lock repairs and gate replacement will cost circa £7m.

 

Chelsea Flower Show.

 

The Yorkshire Canal Garden created much interest. The lock gates were donated by The Trust and came from the Huddersfield Canal.

The garden won a “Gold Award” and the “People’s Choice” prize. The garden also attracted much media attention featuring in the local BBC and ITV regional news.

Based on the theme “Life’s better by water” The Trust also had a garden inspired by and featuring Curdworth Volunteer Lock Keepers at The Gardeners’ World Live show at the NEC, where it was awarded a Silver Merit Royal Horticultural Society medal.

 

The Trust have launched a “Plastics Challenge” calling on people to act to stop the UK’s rivers and canals becoming “Plastics highways.”

There was fantastic coverage in the media raising awareness of the problem in The Times, Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, Independent, the Sun and the Daily Mirror and raising The Trust’s profile. This was also covered by the BBC News programmes across the Country.

 

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct safety review.

 

Following the fall of a member of public from the Aqueduct the Inquest concluded the Aqueduct is “safe for normal use” but raised two “Issues of concern.”

The Trust is to review the size of the gaps in the railings, which are part of the 200-year old design but exceed modern safety standards.

Designs are being formulated but these will need to be followed by a public consultation to guide and design, which will need the consent of Cadw, the historic environment service of the Welsh Government.

New warning signs have been erected at the ends of the Aqueduct.

 

 

 

Boating update

 

The Trust’s key Priorities.

Improvement of customer service facilities.

Ensure Boaters feel valued, looking at turning them into advocates for the Trust.

Address customers’ complaints procedure.

Better communications with regard to water resource.

Maintain an ageing infrastructure.

Manage compliance, licence terms and conditions.

Foster understanding / respect between differing groups of boaters.

Develop business opportunities, working with partnerships to address social issues.

Encourage the broadest range of users and increase unpowered craft use.

Develop tourism on the waterways.

 

Improving Boater safety

 

The National Fire Chiefs Council has agreed to:

Produce and disseminate best practice for promoting boat safety to all fire and rescue services.

Promote best practice to fire and rescue teams sharing boat related incident information with the Boat Safety Scheme and Navigation Authorities.

Introduce a new National Fire Chiefs Council Lead for boat safety to act as a contact point for the Boat Safety Scheme and other authorities.

 

Wide-beam boats: The Trust has updated the Boater’s Handbook indicating with a new map which shows which canals are suitable for wide beam craft.

 

Inconsiderate Mooring

 

The Trust has the power to move boats:

Which are moored or otherwise on the waterways in such a manner which will cause danger. (Sec. 8(5) British Waterways Act 1983).

When a vessel is moored in a way which will not cause danger, but may cause a nuisance to other waterway users, which could result in actions that cause danger.

The Trust will seek to take action in cases where boaters persistently moor inappropriately.

If behaviours are not corrected Licences may be revoked.

 

London Mooring Strategy

 

Nearly half a kilometre of new mooring rings have been provided at Yiewsley (outside TESCO), Limehouse Cut, Sweetwater (Lee Navigation), and Nash Mills on the GU.

New or improved canal-side bin stores have been provided on the River Lee at Feilds Weir and Stonebridge.

Additional water points at Atlip Rd (GU), Sturt’s Lock (Regent’s Canal), Bow Lock (River Lee) with relocation of taps at Paddington and Sweetwater.

 

Pre-bookable moorings are now available for visitors at Paddington Basin Pontoon.

 

Crick Boat Show.

 

Over 4,000 people visited the Trust’s marquee, 160 new “friends” were signed up with 68 Trust staff and 32 volunteers attending.

 

Waterways Ombudsman

 

As the current incumbent, Andrew Walker will be stepping down in June the post will be filled by Sarah Daniel

 

Water Resource Update.

 

For most recent information please visit the Trust’s web page as below.

 

https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/specialist-teams/managing-our-water/reservoir-watch

 

As ever I will not take part in any discussion regarding the contents of this brief. Any questions please refer them to C&RT, Thank you.

 

 

Edited by Ray T
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