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Petition to apply pressure to CaRT


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1 hour ago, Midnight said:

I'm in the older brigade but think the issue is more about how those scarce resources are managed. Anyway didn't Mr Parry say on TV once that money wasn't a problem?

If that's true (and I will quote him on that one day), then politics is all that's left. How hard can it be?

 

As for scarce resorces, that comes down whether we can all be arsed.

 

It really is that simple.

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On 29/07/2020 at 21:29, KenK said:

I started boating on the UK canal system when I was 19, I'm now nearly 69, in that time the system has improved beyond recognition. It is of course not perfect but be realistic the government which via CRT is now responsible for a network of waterways used by a few 10's of thousands of people. Given the amount of money available to CRT they do a good job and if approached correctly they are always helpful.

These days our boat is based in Europe, the Netherlands at the moment, Europe still has working commercial waterways with seriously large boats and they have priority under all circumstances, you could easily spend an hour waiting for a lock or bridge to open because a commercial is approaching. Despite the commercial waterways, which bring in the money, all the rest which are only used by pleasure craft get a reasonable amount of maintenance but not at the expense of the commercials. Even the Netherlands which is a boaters paradise only spends a sensible amount of money on what it regards as a hobby for the fairly well off.

I understand that it can be frustrating when things do not work as you would wish but no one on a boat should expect things to work without problems, you are on a boat what is the rush? 

Are you still on your narrowboat or have you switched to a more "European waterways friendly" barge?

 

............Dave

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5 hours ago, Rambling Boater said:

This post will sound a bit like a of a leap of assumption,  but it looks like many of the, well lets say, older paternity here, tend to focus on politics and money being the answer.

 

I see them as the problem. 

I must be the problem then.  

It's politicians who will decide whether to fund the system, if you can't be bothered to get properly involved, then don't blame us old farts if the politicians take no notice of your silly petitions.  The canals got saved in the first place by people getting their hands dirty and then shaming the politicos into action.

And if you think you can fix a lock gate without any money changing hands, and quite a lot of it at that, you can focus on what you like, but it won't summon up a crane.

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15 hours ago, Midnight said:

I'm in the older brigade but think the issue is more about how those scarce resources are managed. Anyway didn't Mr Parry say on TV once that money wasn't a problem?

No he did not, anymore than David Jenkins (erstwhile Bishop of Durham) said what is so often attributed to him.*

 

Whilst people may like or dislike individual forms of political activity, politics (in its formal definition) is as much part of life as breathing. It is, as you suggest, the art of the possible, that is making decisions about scarce resources or conflicting objectives.

 

It is a very long time since any form of society found a way of organising complex human interactions without money, in its broadest sense, even if at times it was about hoarding conch shells. Ethics, religion and politics all come into play when looking at restrictions on decision-making entirely on a money basis. One of the more pernicious fallacies of our time is wrapped up in statement along the lines of "We don't want a nanny state telling us what we cannot do but we do want rules stopping other people ripping us off". It is rare that a freedom does not come at the price of a restriction elsewhere.

 

* David Jenkins did not say that the resurrection as a conjuring trick with old bones and Richard Parry did not say that CaRT are not short of funds. But many folk believe that both were actual quotes.

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14 minutes ago, Mike Todd said:

No he did not, anymore than David Jenkins (erstwhile Bishop of Durham) said what is so often attributed to him.*

 

Whilst people may like or dislike individual forms of political activity, politics (in its formal definition) is as much part of life as breathing. It is, as you suggest, the art of the possible, that is making decisions about scarce resources or conflicting objectives.

 

It is a very long time since any form of society found a way of organising complex human interactions without money, in its broadest sense, even if at times it was about hoarding conch shells. Ethics, religion and politics all come into play when looking at restrictions on decision-making entirely on a money basis. One of the more pernicious fallacies of our time is wrapped up in statement along the lines of "We don't want a nanny state telling us what we cannot do but we do want rules stopping other people ripping us off". It is rare that a freedom does not come at the price of a restriction elsewhere.

 

* David Jenkins did not say that the resurrection as a conjuring trick with old bones and Richard Parry did not say that CaRT are not short of funds. But many folk believe that both were actual quotes.

"No shortage of funds" near enough to "money wasn't a problem" BUT that's irrelevant  the point was the funds that are available could be managed better to keep the system open. Example: Watford locks closed for weeks for a bodge repair. Surely if that lock gate had been reported as failing and the bodge repair done before it totally failed the cost would be same but the canal wouldn't have been shut for weeks.

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3 hours ago, Midnight said:

"No shortage of funds" near enough to "money wasn't a problem" BUT that's irrelevant  the point was the funds that are available could be managed better to keep the system open. Example: Watford locks closed for weeks for a bodge repair. Surely if that lock gate had been reported as failing and the bodge repair done before it totally failed the cost would be same but the canal wouldn't have been shut for weeks.

Cash flow?

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Perhaps, with the latest crop of completely avoidable stoppages,  most of which are the result of lack of maintenance and of which CART have been aware of for some time those who have leapt to the support of this totally unfit for purpose organisation might now consider signing this petition.

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44 minutes ago, hughc said:

Perhaps, with the latest crop of completely avoidable stoppages,  most of which are the result of lack of maintenance and of which CART have been aware of for some time those who have leapt to the support of this totally unfit for purpose organisation might now consider signing this petition.

 

I don't understand how anyone can defend the indefensible.

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2 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

I don't understand how anyone can defend the indefensible.

It is important to distinguish between being reprehensible for not using money wisely when there is enough to cover all costs and having to make unpalatable choices when there is patently insufficient to meet the standards you seek (and which I would wish to see). The latter is a case against the Government and the former against CaRT.

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6 minutes ago, Mike Todd said:

It is important to distinguish between being reprehensible for not using money wisely when there is enough to cover all costs and having to make unpalatable choices when there is patently insufficient to meet the standards you seek (and which I would wish to see). The latter is a case against the Government and the former against CaRT.

Under which category does C&RT dredging the Pocklington canal to improve the habitat for dragonfly's and other 'marsh loving' creatures, and in the process digging up and killing all of the dragonfly larvae who spend the early part of their lives in the mud on the bottom of the canal.

 

By dredging the silt from the bottom of Pocklington Canal, 'helping to reverse this decline and in turn see an increase in other wildlife such as dragonflies'—and dumping it on the land it is killing all the living nymphs of countless dragonflies.

The larva/nymph of the larger dragonfly can exist for up to five years, in the canal or clinging to weeds, that CaRT in its ignorance is also removing, and even that of the smaller dragonfly can live up to three years in the water until it eventually surfaces to emerge from its skin as a dragonfly, that then mates, produces eggs, that sink to start the cycle all over again, as of course does the damselfly.

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56 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

Under which category does C&RT dredging the Pocklington canal to improve the habitat for dragonfly's and other 'marsh loving' creatures, and in the process digging up and killing all of the dragonfly larvae who spend the early part of their lives in the mud on the bottom of the canal.

 

By dredging the silt from the bottom of Pocklington Canal, 'helping to reverse this decline and in turn see an increase in other wildlife such as dragonflies'—and dumping it on the land it is killing all the living nymphs of countless dragonflies.

The larva/nymph of the larger dragonfly can exist for up to five years, in the canal or clinging to weeds, that CaRT in its ignorance is also removing, and even that of the smaller dragonfly can live up to three years in the water until it eventually surfaces to emerge from its skin as a dragonfly, that then mates, produces eggs, that sink to start the cycle all over again, as of course does the damselfly.

The Pocklington canal is a great example of wrong priorities. As much as I love it, it is quite difficult to reach and hard going over the first couple of miles in what is little more than a weeded up shallow ditch. Yet quite a bit of money has been spent on it recently with dredging and opening locks that very few will ever use. The canal society have done a brilliant job but the sad truth is it's an out of the way place that few will visit. To put things into perspective, at a recent festival about 500 yards of towpath bank were reserved for visiting boats. Unfortunately the reeds were about 6ft high and stretching out about 12ft across the water making it impossible to moor. When a colleague asked a CaRT environmental officer why they hadn't cleared the mooring was told "We don't really want boats up here .... they disturb the wild life." You couldn't make it up!

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2 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

Under which category does C&RT dredging the Pocklington canal to improve the habitat for dragonfly's and other 'marsh loving' creatures, and in the process digging up and killing all of the dragonfly larvae who spend the early part of their lives in the mud on the bottom of the canal.

 

By dredging the silt from the bottom of Pocklington Canal, 'helping to reverse this decline and in turn see an increase in other wildlife such as dragonflies'—and dumping it on the land it is killing all the living nymphs of countless dragonflies.

The larva/nymph of the larger dragonfly can exist for up to five years, in the canal or clinging to weeds, that CaRT in its ignorance is also removing, and even that of the smaller dragonfly can live up to three years in the water until it eventually surfaces to emerge from its skin as a dragonfly, that then mates, produces eggs, that sink to start the cycle all over again, as of course does the damselfly.

If CaRT failed to consult their own environmental staff then that would be a cause for criticism on its own. However, if those experts either suggested or endorsed the action then we are in the realm of one expert opinion versus another (or even an inexpert opinion) Experts frequently come to different conclusion, not necessarily because either is wrong but because they have different objectives or constraints. They can also differ depending on the timescale considered - what might be better in the short term may be worse in the longer term. (Risking controversy: some countries claimed early 'success' with COVID only now to find that early actions were worse in the medium term - none of us know the better action for the long term)

 

In the case of Pocklington, it has long been a place of uneasy compromises between the potential for boating and the subsequent discovery of its value for wildlife. Even then, newly abandoned canals may be a place for wildlife to thrive in the short term but when the canal becomes blocked they turn into unhealthy places.

 

By all means critique CaRT's decisions in particular circumstances - especially if you have different priorities leading to different possible actions, but I fail to see why this, on its own, amounts to a case for the incompetency prosecution.

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6 minutes ago, Mike Todd said:

By all means critique CaRT's decisions in particular circumstances - especially if you have different priorities leading to different possible actions, but I fail to see why this, on its own, amounts to a case for the incompetency prosecution.

Primarily because the C&RT press release specifically stated they were trying to improve the environment for dragonfly' breeding, instead they killed off the 5 years of dragonfly life-cycle.

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42 minutes ago, Mike Todd said:

By all means critique CaRT's decisions in particular circumstances - especially if you have different priorities leading to different possible actions, but I fail to see why this, on its own, amounts to a case for the incompetency prosecution.

Because it's just one example, among many, of poor management of scarce resources. I suspect many on here will be able to provide further examples.

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2 hours ago, Midnight said:

Because it's just one example, among many, of poor management of scarce resources. I suspect many on here will be able to provide further examples.

Sadly, I have not seen any cited here. What I have seen plenty of is people complaining that, when making hard choices, CaRT opted for someone else's needs rather than theirs.

 

I'd very much prefer it if CaRT had a blank cheque to return the canals to the pristine condition we all know they were once in (probably just before we were born, collective memory is often determined by one's parent's telling stories). However, I recognise that compromises (aka politics) are necessary.

 

OK, so I do know of one or two mistakes in the early days of CaRT, some of which were inherited from BW, but anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried to achieve.

 

In other cases, such as the one that Alan cited, I'd like to hear the full story as these things are rarely as simple as they can sometimes be portrayed. It may even be the adverse outcome that was quoted but if CaRT acted according to the best expert advice available at the time then they would have been out of order to act otherwise. Experts, even those on this forum, don't always get it right!

 

 

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49 minutes ago, Mike Todd said:

Sadly, I have not seen any cited here. What I have seen plenty of is people complaining that, when making hard choices, CaRT opted for someone else's needs rather than theirs.

C&RTs primary function is as a Navigation Authority, dredging a non-navigable canal to develop a nature reserve should, (I would have thought) in view of the condition of the waterways, have been way down their expenditure budget.

 

https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/about-us/where-we-work/yorkshire-and-north-east/pocklington-canal-project/pocklington-canal/dredging-on-the-pocklington-canal

 

Normally the Canal & River Trust carry out dredging to keep our network of canals open to boats, but in fact all of the dredging on the Pocklington Canal is taking place in the non-navigable upper reaches of the canal. So why dredge an area you can’t take a boat along? The (possibly surprising) answer: to help our wildlife!

 

https://www.canalboat.co.uk/news/dredging-project-on-the-pocklington-to-protect-rare-aquatic-plants-1-4861053

 

“It’s important to remember that the canal is a man-made environment and so sometimes it’s necessary to step in and give nature a helping hand,” said project officer Lizzie Dealey.

 

“By tackling some of the dominant reeds in the middle of the canal then we’ll be able to improve conditions for rarer plant species but also dragonflies and other wildlife.”

 

Found it :

Edit to add C&RTS Objectives and raison d'etre :

 

Nothing in the primary objectives about dragonfly's

.

 INTERPRETATION

1. Defined terms The interpretation of these Articles is governed by the provisions set out in the Schedule at the end of the Articles.

 

OBJECTS AND POWERS

2. Objects The Trust’s objects are:

2.1 to preserve, protect, operate and manage Inland Waterways for public benefit:

2.1.1 for navigation;

2.1.2 for walking on towpaths; and

2.1.3 for recreation or other leisure-time pursuits of the public in the interest of their health and social welfare;

 

2.2 to protect and conserve for public benefit sites, objects and buildings of archaeological, architectural, engineering or historic interest on, in the vicinity of, or otherwise associated with Inland Waterways;

 

2.3 to further for the public benefit the conservation protection and improvement of the natural environment and landscape of Inland Waterways;

 

2.4 to promote, facilitate, undertake and assist in, for public benefit, the restoration and improvement of Inland Waterways;

 

2.5 to promote and facilitate for public benefit awareness, learning and education about Inland Waterways, their history, development, use, operation and cultural heritage by all appropriate means including the provision of museums;

 

2.6 to promote sustainable development in the vicinity of any Inland Waterway for the benefit of the public, in particular by:

 

2.6.1 the improvement of the conditions of life in socially and economically disadvantaged communities in such vicinity; and 2.6.2 the promotion of sustainable means of achieving economic growth and regeneration and the prudent use of natural resources

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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6 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

C&RTs primary function is as a Navigation Authority, 

I don't think that's true anymore judging by the CRT Charitable Object.That's the problem.

 

If you look at other petitions against CRT, some with more than 1000 signatures, most have nothing to do with boating or navigation. 

 

CRT have been very clever at turning the canals into a public park rather than a navigation. TBH, I'm not sure what we as boaters can do about it. The NBTA don't really support the navigational needs and I don't see much happening from other boating organisations. 

 

Maybe a petition is a start unless you have any other ideas?

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