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rawsondsr

What would you do if you were CRT?

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As it says, if you were the new CEO of CRT, what changes would you make to make CRT a viable operation?

 

As all we ever seem to read is CRT is doing things wrong, i was curious as to what you would do better?

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In my view the key to securing the future of our inland waterways is to secure sufficient funding to eliminate the maintenance backlog and keep up to date with ongoing maintenance, whilst having a large enough contingency fund to deal with the inevitable unexpected age related failures.

 

An impossible task in the current political and financial climates.

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24 minutes ago, rawsondsr said:

As it says, if you were the new CEO of CRT, what changes would you make to make CRT a viable operation?

 

As all we ever seem to read is CRT is doing things wrong, i was curious as to what you would do better?

Well, if I was on some sort of performance related pay, I would make sure I set achievable goals. If not, then, I would make sure my contract gave me significant guaranteed pension contributions, maybe equal to my pay [!],  and a nice big golden handshake if I failed to meet any critical targets. Job done.

As for meeting government targets, well, lots of two day meetings in London, all expenses paid, of course. Networking, Meeting all the beautiful people, winning friends and cow towing to influencers. ?

Edited by LadyG
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26 minutes ago, LadyG said:

Well, if I was on some sort of performance related pay, I would make sure I set achievable goals. If not, then, I would make sure my contract gave me significant guaranteed pension contributions, maybe equal to my pay [!],  and a nice big golden handshake if I failed to meet any critical targets. Job done.

As for meeting government targets, well, lots of two day meetings in London, all expenses paid, of course. Networking, Meeting all the beautiful people, winning friends and cow towing to influencers. ?

……….. or "kowtowing"?

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1 hour ago, Alway Swilby said:

I'd ban CWDF, the other place and Facebook. Then no one would read about CRT doing things wrong.

I'd also compile a blacklist of everyone (identifiable) who had ever criticised CRT and then harrass them using all means at my disposal until they eventually go fed up and cleared orff.

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4 hours ago, cuthound said:

In my view the key to securing the future of our inland waterways is to secure sufficient funding to eliminate the maintenance backlog and keep up to date with ongoing maintenance, whilst having a large enough contingency fund to deal with the inevitable unexpected age related failures.

 

An impossible task in the current political and financial climates.

^^^^^^ this and bring back lengths men lengths persons allowing them to maintain and fix things. Get rid of the bean counting middle managers, endless hangers oners and call centre staff who know next to nowt about waterways and recruit from within the organisation giving staff a chance to climb the ladder.
Most of all I would give priority to navigation...

...but then my mam said "wake up son it's time to go to school"

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As the guy said when asked for directions ... "You don't want to start from here !".

As C&RT appear to have sold off all equipment, and disposed of the bankside staff who used to know how to use it, and who understood canals and knew the system, and replaced them with inefficient outside contractors and call centre staff who wouldn't know a canal if they fell in one ...

that's a tough one to answer ...

but I wouldn't want to ...

Rog :)

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22 minutes ago, dogless said:

As the guy said when asked for directions ... "You don't want to start from here !".

As C&RT appear to have sold off all equipment, and disposed of the bankside staff who used to know how to use it, and who understood canals and knew the system, and replaced them with inefficient outside contractors and call centre staff who wouldn't know a canal if they fell in one ...

that's a tough one to answer ...

but I wouldn't want to ...

Rog :)

 

Totally agree. 

 

If I were appointed CEO of CRT the first thing I would do would be to resign.

 

 

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12 hours ago, dogless said:

As the guy said when asked for directions ... "You don't want to start from here !".

As C&RT appear to have sold off all equipment, and disposed of the bankside staff who used to know how to use it, and who understood canals and knew the system, and replaced them with inefficient outside contractors and call centre staff who wouldn't know a canal if they fell in one ...

that's a tough one to answer ...

but I wouldn't want to ...

Rog :)

 

You appear to think that direct labour is good and comtracting out is bad.

 

It is not that simple. 

 

Both need proper direction (job specification) and supervising if the outcome is to be successful.

 

Owning equipment which requires annual testing and certification but which is rarely used incurs significant cost and make it more difficult to assess the true cost of a job. Best to hire if possible in that case. This is why even high usage companies like the construction industry now hire even frequently used plant.

 

Direct labour is best suited to jobs needing a rapid response, jobs requiring highly specialised skills, job design and supervision.

 

Most issues that CRT are experiencing could be readily resolved with appropriate job specification and contract supervision.  That way the work could be done to an acceptable standard at a reasonable cost.

 

However without a sea change in the management culture that is never going to happen.

Edited by cuthound
Clarification & spillung
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17 hours ago, cuthound said:

In my view the key to securing the future of our inland waterways is to secure sufficient funding to eliminate the maintenance backlog and keep up to date with ongoing maintenance, whilst having a large enough contingency fund to deal with the inevitable unexpected age related failures.

 

An impossible task in the current political and financial climates.

And that ^^^^^^ is the key problem and almost totally outside the CaRT Head Honcho's control. If they want to make it a viable long term operation with the current clown government, they'd do a Dr Beaching and close all the canals, except for a few honeypot sites and pivot in to a property development company with all those prime town and city centre locations to build on. The rural canals can be muddy ditches with lots of wildlife and a cycle track alongside.

 

Not a job I'd do for any money.

 

Jen

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12 minutes ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

Not a job I'd do for any money.

 

Good to see there's still people like Jen willing to do it out of the goodness of their hearts. ?

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Rumsky said:

Good to see there's still people like Jen willing to do it out of the goodness of their hearts. ?

 

 

Jen-in-Vollies

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20 minutes ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

The rural canals can be muddy ditches with lots of wildlife and a cycle track alongside.

 

I remember as a teenager the Basingstoke canal through Sheerwater/West Byfleet being like that. Simply everybody around there wanted it back in water.

 

Its a curious thing but I suspect a lot of canal societies would spring back into life and move heaven and earth to save the 'local canal' if/when the govt do as you suggest. 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, matty40s said:

Jen-in-Vollies

Now that's a whole different workplace issue, perhaps not an appropriate discussion for a family forum. 

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18 minutes ago, Rumsky said:

Good to see there's still people like Jen willing to do it out of the goodness of their hearts. ?

 

 

CaRT are keen to encourage volunteers. They'd save a lot more money getting rid of the board and senior management and replacing them volbosses, rather than the lock keepers. Wonder why they haven't? ?

 

Jen

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11 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

I remember as a teenager the Basingstoke canal through Sheerwater/West Byfleet being like that. Simply everybody around there wanted it back in water.

 

Its a curious thing but I suspect a lot of canal societies would spring back into life and move heaven and earth to save the 'local canal' if/when the govt do as you suggest. 

 

 

I think you are right and that is the way it will go when it is obvious to all that CaRT can't succeed with their funding. Move some of the system back to local control, with societies. We could have all the stop locks reinstated to stop neighbouring canal societies knicking the water! The Herefordshire and Gloucestershire canal is another example of local restoration. They are setting up long term funding to support each restored bit of canal.

 

Jen

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2 hours ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

I think you are right and that is the way it will go when it is obvious to all that CaRT can't succeed with their funding. Move some of the system back to local control, with societies. We could have all the stop locks reinstated to stop neighbouring canal societies knicking the water! The Herefordshire and Gloucestershire canal is another example of local restoration. They are setting up long term funding to support each restored bit of canal.

 

Jen

 

Whilst Herefordshire and Gloucestershire County Councils are doing a great job is it sustainable?

 

The Basingstoke is owned by Hampshire and Surrey County Councils and is in a poor and declining state. Deepcut locks have been closed for long periods on more than one occasion. The county council's have even tried to bribe CRT to take it on, but the dowry wasn't enough.

 

In the current financial climate it will be increasingly difficult for County Councils to justify the expenditure on a canal, rather than roads, schools etc.

 

Continued ownership by CRT or another similar national body is the way forward, providing they can continue to secure sufficient funding. 

 

Fragmented ownership could well result in a fragmented network,  which will rapidly lose boaters and thus attract fewer walkers etc and ultimately less funding.

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1 hour ago, cuthound said:

Whilst Herefordshire and Gloucestershire County Councils are doing a great job is it sustainable?

It is Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal Trust. Nothing to do with the County Councils, though they work closely with them on planning etc. As to if it is sustainable, that is their plan. Are they going to succeed? Ask me again in 100 years! ?

 

1 hour ago, cuthound said:

The Basingstoke is owned by Hampshire and Surrey County Councils and is in a poor and declining state. Deepcut locks have been closed for long periods on more than one occasion. The county council's have even tried to bribe CRT to take it on, but the dowry wasn't enough.

Councils in general have suffered huge funding cuts in the last nine years and have statutory calls on their money that they can't ignore. Not organisations to go to for money at the moment.

 

1 hour ago, cuthound said:

Continued ownership by CRT or another similar national body is the way forward, providing they can continue to secure sufficient funding. 

Agreed. It is all down to money. A national body would be ideal. If there isn't enough, do we try and save part of the network, or allow much of it to decline in to an unusable state?

 

1 hour ago, cuthound said:

Fragmented ownership could well result in a fragmented network,  which will rapidly lose boaters and thus attract fewer walkers etc and ultimately less funding.

In many ways the network is already fragmented. You'll need a trailable, or hire boat to use the Brecon and Monmouth, or the western end of the Chesterfield. If you have a wide beam, or 70' narrow boat, then huge chunks of the system are not available to you. Walkers can only walk ten, fifteen miles or so in a day and if the owner/maintainer changes it makes no difference. Prior to nationalisation, the network was fragmented and was not dissimilar. For a boat, the only difference was the presence of more stop locks than there are now and tolls. It worked OK, but pre and post nationalisation, it couldn't make enough money, so gradually ran down and closed. It is all down to money and if enough of society agree they are worth saving.

 

Jen

Edited by Jen-in-Wellies
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44 minutes ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

It is Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal Trust. Nothing to do with the County Councils, though they work closely with them on planning etc. As to if it is sustainable, that is their plan. Are they going to succeed? Ask me again in 100 years! ?

 

Councils in general have suffered huge funding cuts in the last nine years and have statutory calls on their money that they can't ignore. Not organisations to go to for money at the moment.

 

Agreed. It is all down to money. A national body would be ideal. If there isn't enough, do we try and save part of the network, or allow much of it to decline in to an unusable state?

 

In many ways the network is already fragmented. You'll need a trailable, or hire boat to use the Brecon and Monmouth, or the western end of the Chesterfield. If you have a wide beam, or 70' narrow boat, then huge chunks of the system are not available to you. Walkers can only walk ten, fifteen miles or so in a day and if the owner/maintainer changes it makes no difference. Prior to nationalisation, the network was fragmented and was not dissimilar. For a boat, the only difference was the presence of more stop locks than there are now and tolls. It worked OK, but pre and post nationalisation, it couldn't make enough money, so gradually ran down and closed. It is all down to money and if enough of society agree they are worth saving.

 

Jen

 

It seems we are broadly in agreement.

 

Whilst a trust is usually the prime moved in starting a restorstion, most recent restorstions have been started by a trust with BW then taking over and completing the restoration. Can a restoration be entirely funded by a trust, is there a historical example for one requiring such major work including dealing with the rock falls in Sapperton Tunnel? Can CRT afford to take on the completion of such a restoration, or even fund the ongoing maintenance even if the trust completes the restoration?

 

I agree that councils are not best placed to own canals, that is why I made the point regarding the Basingstoke.

 

Regarding funding we agree. If there is insufficient funding it would logical to prune the network, starting with the least used bits, but would meet significant opposition.

 

Yes the ownership of the network was fragmented prior to nationisation. I was suggesting that if parts of the network failed and were not repaired, it would become fragmented leading to parts of it being used less, which them may become candidates for closure due to lack of use.

 

I agree that to secure future funding CRT need to show the network is valued and I think their current "wellbeing" campaign is aimed at this.

 

Let's hope it is successful in this.

 

Edited by cuthound
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12 minutes ago, cuthound said:

Whilst a trust is usually the prime moved in starting a restorstion, most recent restorstions have been started by a trust with BW then taking over and completing the restoration. Can a restoration be entirely funded by a trust, is there a historical example for one requiring such major work including dealing with the rock falls in Sapperton Tunnel? Can CRT afford to take on the completion of such a restoration, or even fund the ongoing maintenance even if the trust completes the restoration?

As far as major engineering work is concerned, the Lichfield and Hatherton put an aquaduct across the M6 toll road and are currently fund raising to drive tunnels under an active main railway line.

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8 minutes ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

As far as major engineering work is concerned, the Lichfield and Hatherton put an aquaduct across the M6 toll road and are currently fund raising to drive tunnels under an active main railway line.

 

 I know, they are my local restoration trust ?

 

I hope they manage to complete it, because if they do it not only adds a new canal to the system, but will encourage people to use the much underused BCN backwater canals such as the Wyrley and Essington and canals off it being almost unused.

Edited by cuthound
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2 hours ago, cuthound said:

In the current financial climate it will be increasingly difficult for County Councils to justify the expenditure on a canal, rather than roads, schools etc.

 

 

I don't think I buy that. Knowing the area I'm pretty certain pressure from ratepayers would see the council dipping their hands back in their pocket to keep the canal in water at least. Not necessarily navigable but there would be a lot of pressure for that too. 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

I don't think I buy that. Knowing the area I'm pretty certain pressure from ratepayers would see the council dipping their hands back in their pocket to keep the canal in water at least. Not necessarily navigable but there would be a lot of pressure for that too. 

 

 

 

You considered buying the Basingstoke Canal, business must be good ?.

 

It used to be my local canal, and the wife's sister and husband live close to within Hartley Wintney, so I am pretty familiar with it.

 

Seriously if the government keeps cutting funding to county council's, who as Jen points out have statutory obligations to meet, then the canal will suffer, despite  pressure from residents.

 

I agree they would complain, but I don't think many would stump up monies from their own pockets.

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