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David Orr CBE proposed for appointment as next Canal & River Trust chair


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CRT Press Release

 

4th August 2022

 

David Orr CBE proposed for appointment as next Canal & River Trust chair

 

The Canal & River Trust is proposing to appoint David Orr CBE as its new chair subject to formal approval at the meeting of the charity’s Council in September and subsequent endorsement by fellow Board members the following day.

 

David will join the Trust for an initial term of three years in the unpaid role and, alongside the charity’s other volunteer board directors, will lead the Trust’s decisions on policy and strategy, legal oversight of the Trust’s wide range of statutory duties, and provide direction to the Trust’s chief executive and his team.

 

David joins the Trust following a 30-year career working in the housing association sector at chief executive level where he lobbied for, and worked to provide, good quality homes and great neighbourhoods for people on low incomes first at the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations and then as chief executive of the National Housing Federation. Since retiring from executive positions in 2018, David has continued in non-executive roles, including chairing the Clarion Housing Association.

 

An enthusiast for the nation’s canal network, David often takes daily walks along the network and has enjoyed many canal boat holidays.  He will replace Allan Leighton, who steps down having completed his three terms on the Canal & River Trust Board, including serving as Chair since 2015.

 

Dame Jenny Abramsky, deputy chair of the Trust and chair of the Trust’s Joint Council & Trustees Appointments Committee, comments: “We are delighted to welcome David to the Trust and thank Allan for his powerful leadership and unwavering commitment over the past eight years which has seen the Trust take great strides forward as a new charity.

 

“David’s understanding of the Trust’s purpose and value to society, together with his passion for campaigning and experience of engagement in political circles, will be vitally important as we work alongside our partners in government to secure the support and funding needed to protect and preserve the canal network and the range of significant benefits it provides to people and communities.”

 

David Orr comments: “The canal system across England and Wales is the finest network of industrial heritage in the world, still navigated by boats 250 years after it was built.  The creation of the Canal & River Trust ten years ago has been transformational in the way the waterways are cared for – with more people and more diverse communities using them and involved in their care and upkeep than ever before.

 

“I am delighted to be joining the Trust at this critical stage in its development and look forward to working with fellow trustees and all the employees and volunteers at the Trust to fulfil the waterways’ huge potential to shape society, bringing nature into cities, improving community wellbeing and tackling health inequalities, as well as supporting jobs and local economies.  These special places are vulnerable to the changing climate and we will be working tirelessly to secure their future and maximise the benefit they provide.”

 

ENDS

 

For further information, please contact:

Jonathan Ludford, Canal & River Trust

m 07747 897783 e jonathan.ludford@canalrivertrust.org.uk  

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59 minutes ago, frangar said:

Nothing about boating or navigation as per usual then. 

 

Maybe not a lot, but not nothing....

 

Quote

An enthusiast for the nation’s canal network, David often takes daily walks along the network and has enjoyed many canal boat holidays

 

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Just now, alan_fincher said:

 

Maybe not a lot, but not nothing....

 

 

I should have made it clearer I was referring to his vision to the future of the waterways.....which seemed to have failed to mention boating or navigation......but the same old drivel about health and nice walks etc

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1 hour ago, Ray T said:

.........look forward to working with fellow trustees and all the employees and volunteers at the Trust to fulfil the waterways’ huge potential to shape society, bringing nature into cities, improving community wellbeing and tackling health inequalities, as well as supporting jobs and local economies. ........

 

Yup, its all about wellbeing and health.

Nothing about a crumbling infrastructure a charity that massages the figures to suit its aims.

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Just now, frangar said:

Care to say why? (Im not disagreeing......but I cant listen to JV without the urgent need to knock him off his bike under a large truck.......)

Sure: he was furious about the amounts of unrepaired water leaks and the sewage pollution into our waterways. All while water bosses are paid millions and the regulatory body does little. It was refreshing to hear someone speak clearly and frankly.

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11 minutes ago, MrsM said:

Sure: he was furious about the amounts of unrepaired water leaks and the sewage pollution into our waterways. All while water bosses are paid millions and the regulatory body does little. It was refreshing to hear someone speak clearly and frankly.

Thank you! All fair points.....I do like his style I must admit!

7 minutes ago, wandering snail said:

He's right that 10 years of CRT have been transformational for the waterways, he just forgot to say that that hadn't been in a good way.

You aren't wrong there!...I never thought Id miss BW.......

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Given his history of working with street homelessness and then social housing, this is going to be an assault on liveaboards. Or, on non-liveaboards - after all if a boat is empty even for a couple of days it could provide a valuable shelter for those without a roof over their head. Or, given his recent role representing housebuilders, the paving and building on every scrap of land CRT can sell to his chums.

 

Whatever, he's a fat cat, and all or some of us, are looking like dinner...

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2 hours ago, Tony Brooks said:

I am hoping that during his waterside walks he gets hit by a few cyclists, that might concentrate his mind on the problem.

My memory suggests that the announcements of trustees are often accompanied by some dubious spin giving a waterway connection. 

 

Orr replaces Allan Leighton. Leighton was announced as a keen towpath jogger. Perhaps they will collide on a dark night and both end up in the cut.

 

A previous deputy chair was supposedly restoring a boat on the Trent. After several years in office, the reference to the boat vanished followed a couple of years later by the deputy.

 

However, my favourite was not a trustee but a chief executive who could often be seen walking a particular loop in Birmingham with his family. That the loop did have a towpath probably gave rise to the myth that he could walk on water.

 

 

Edited by Allan(nb Albert)
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7 hours ago, Ray T said:

... David often takes daily walks along the network ....

So which is it, often or daily? It can't be both.

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2 hours ago, malp said:

So which is it, often or daily? It can't be both.

How about if he takes a daily walk which he sometimes does on the canal towpath where as other times its in the park

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19 hours ago, Ray T said:

The creation of the Canal & River Trust ten years ago has been transformational in the way the waterways are cared for – with more people and more diverse communities using them and involved in their care and upkeep than ever before.

 

Is that because BW used to actually do some maintenance and didn't need to get "diverse communities ... involved in their care and upkeep?"

 

/cynical 

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14 minutes ago, Allan(nb Albert) said:

Yes we have all noticed the transformation to "fix on fail". 

When I asked Sean McGinley about the "fix on fail" policy he denied it, yet it's pretty obvious to most boaters that's what's happening. Either Mr McGinley believes what he says or he thinks we are all numbskulls who believe anything he says.

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28 minutes ago, Midnight said:

When I asked Sean McGinley about the "fix on fail" policy he denied it, yet it's pretty obvious to most boaters that's what's happening. Either Mr McGinley believes what he says or he thinks we are all numbskulls who believe anything he says.

It is the outcome of CRT's refusal to deal with its maintenance backlog rather than a deliberate policy. 

 

Paddle failure is a classic example. A paddle fails and on goes a bin liner. Because of the backlog of maintenance work and the lock being operational it is not fixed in a timely manner. Then the paddle fails the other side, CRT has a stoppage and is accused waiting until something breaks before fixing it. 

 

Although not described as such in any documentation I have seen, the official policy appears to be JIT - just in time. In other words the inspection regime anticipates when something is about to fail such that can be fixed before that happens. 

 

 

Edited by Allan(nb Albert)
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1 hour ago, Midnight said:

When I asked Sean McGinley about the "fix on fail" policy he denied it, yet it's pretty obvious to most boaters that's what's happening. Either Mr McGinley believes what he says or he thinks we are all numbskulls who believe anything he says.

Matthew Symonds admitted this was how they were dealing with the system to me last year.

Edited by wandering snail
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On 05/08/2022 at 09:12, Allan(nb Albert) said:

It is the outcome of CRT's refusal to deal with its maintenance backlog rather than a deliberate policy. 

 

Paddle failure is a classic example. A paddle fails and on goes a bin liner. Because of the backlog of maintenance work and the lock being operational it is not fixed in a timely manner. Then the paddle fails the other side, CRT has a stoppage and is accused waiting until something breaks before fixing it. 

 

Although not described as such in any documentation I have seen, the official policy appears to be JIT - just in time. In other words the inspection regime anticipates when something is about to fail such that can be fixed before that happens. 

 

 

 

No, if the repairs were "just in time" the paddle would be fixed just before the other one broke.

 

I think CRT are operating a JTL (just too late) maintenance schedule.

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1 minute ago, LadyG said:

I can't imagine the CRT canals are the finest heritage example of industrial heritage in the world. 

They are falling to bits and lots of the industrial heritage buildings have been sold off.

True, but having spent the last 25 years touring the UK in a campervan I have been astonished at the amazing industrial heritage that is still visible from the waterways - and ONLY from the waterways or towpath. We have spent the last 3 years seeing parts of Britain from our boat that we would never have seen from the road. Much of it is derilict and probably beyond economic repair but it's bloody fab nevertheless. 

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1 hour ago, LadyG said:

I can't imagine the CRT canals are the finest heritage example of industrial heritage in the world. 

They are falling to bits and lots of the industrial heritage buildings have been sold off.

Surely you should support the selling off of heritage buildings. If you say they don't repair the waterway itself then they are unlikely to look after adjacent heritage buildings.

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