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Licence Fees


Arthur Marshall

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2 minutes ago, IanD said:

 

Indeed, and that will move the "total boater payment" up slightly. It'll still be a lot lower than the DEFRA grant though -- maybe this drops the "average rise to get equal priority" from 80% to 60% or so. Still a big gap though...


I’m getting confused, (probably the beer) you’re saying that the income from “boater payment” should match the income from DEFRA?

 

what happens should DEFRA reduce their grant to zero? should we match that ?

what happens when DEFRA realise what a wonderful system we have and double their grant? should we match that?

 


 

 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, IanD said:

 

Indeed, and that will move the "total boater payment" up slightly. It'll still be a lot lower than the DEFRA grant though -- maybe this drops the "average rise to get equal priority" from 80% to 60% or so. Still a big gap though...

 

The figure you quoted (£9.8m) already includes the NAA payments, I mentioned it before someone suggest the figures should be higher as the NAA payments should be added.

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Regarding the comments about boaters contribution and the amount from taxation, don't overlook the fact that boaters are also taxpayers. There are many facilities such as footpaths and car parks and road improvements that benefit non paying users ( eg pedestrians and cyclists) paid for from public funds. 

The real target for reform should be the vast waste of income on the fat bureacratic parts of the organisation.

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7 minutes ago, Goliath said:


I’m getting confused, (probably the beer) you’re saying that the income from “boater payment” should match the income from DEFRA?

 

what happens should DEFRA reduce their grant to zero? should we match that ?

what happens when DEFRA realise what a wonderful system we have and double their grant? should we match that?

 

 

I'm saying that if "boaters" want to get equal attention to "Joe Public" as far as priorities on what is done to the canals by CART is concerned, they would need to pay the same amount as the DEFRA grant. You can't one one hand say that boaters are more important than Joe Public as far as the canals are concerned and should get prioritised but also that they should pay less -- at least, not the way the government works today which is all driven by cost/price not value... 😞

 

Yes if DEFRA reduced their grant to zero then you could say that boaters should do the same -- but this is a ridiculous case because then they both get no attention, CART goes bust and the canals close.

 

If CART need more money after this "levelling-up" then both the DEFRA grant *and* boater's fees should go up together, along with all the other contributors like fees for water extraction -- how else can you fairly share out the costs?

 

At the moment, roughly speaking DEFRA contribute 53M and boaters 33M in total (including hire boat contributions and marina 9%). If just the boater contribution went up to the same level as DEFRA (60% increase compared to today, average license up from £840 to £1350) CARTs budget would go up by 20M (about 10%) per year. If the yearly shortfall to clear the maintenance backlog is indeed £100M, this would take 5 years to clear it which seems reasonable. If this isn't enough then all sources of income would have to be increased somehow.

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7 minutes ago, Ex Brummie said:

Regarding the comments about boaters contribution and the amount from taxation, don't overlook the fact that boaters are also taxpayers. There are many facilities such as footpaths and car parks and road improvements that benefit non paying users ( eg pedestrians and cyclists) paid for from public funds. 

The real target for reform should be the vast waste of income on the fat bureacratic parts of the organisation.

Boaters are 0.001% of taxpayers and therefore make negligible contribution to the DEFRA grant...

 

Everyone always says the line I've highlighted -- what do you suggest? How much money actually pays these "fat bureaucrats" and how much pays the workers and contractors and for materials? Without numbers it's a meaningless statement pointing the finger of blame, like the government commanding the NHS to make 20% "efficiency savings".

 

The same suggestion is always made about blue sign costs and big wage payments to top execs, but when you look at the actual numbers involved they're a tiny part of the £200M+ budget, probably much less than 1%. That's not going to fix CARTs funding shortfall, is it?

 

It's always easy for somebody to say "make efficiency savings" until they actually have to do it... 😉

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20 minutes ago, IanD said:

 

I'm saying that if "boaters" want to get equal attention to "Joe Public" as far as priorities on what is done to the canals by CART is concerned, they would need to pay the same amount as the DEFRA grant. You can't one one hand say that boaters are more important than Joe Public as far as the canals are concerned and should get prioritised but also that they should pay less -- at least, not the way the government works today which is all driven by cost/price not value... 😞

 

Yes if DEFRA reduced their grant to zero then you could say that boaters should do the same -- but this is a ridiculous case because then they both get no attention, CART goes bust and the canals close.

 

If CART need more money after this "levelling-up" then both the DEFRA grant *and* boater's fees should go up together, along with all the other contributors like fees for water extraction -- how else can you fairly share out the costs?

 

At the moment, roughly speaking DEFRA contribute 53M and boaters 33M in total (including hire boat contributions and marina 9%). If just the boater contribution went up to the same level as DEFRA (60% increase compared to today, average license up from £840 to £1350) CARTs budget would go up by 20M (about 10%) per year. If the yearly shortfall to clear the maintenance backlog is indeed £100M, this would take 5 years to clear it which seems reasonable. If this isn't enough then all sources of income would have to be increased somehow.


I view it the other way around. 
My logic is the other way. 

For how can boaters’ collectively compete with the total money raised from the tax payer?

 

You say the taxpayer (of which I am one) pays £1.60 a year (your estimate) while I pay over a £1000 and the rest. 
Surely their contribution should at least double if not treble. 
It is after all for their wellbeing too, a fiver a year is nothing. 

 

All said I am probably paying one thousand times more to use the canals than the taxpayer does. 
 


 

 

Edited by Goliath
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4 minutes ago, Goliath said:


I view it the other way around. 
My logic is the other way. 

For how can boaters’ collectively compete with the total money raised from the tax payer?

 

You say the taxpayer (of which I am one) pays £1.60 a year (your estimate) while I pay over a £1000 and the rest. 
Surely there contribution should at least double if not treble. 
It is after all for there wellbeing too, a fiver a year is nothing. 

 

All said I am probably paying one thousand times more to use the canals than the taxpayer does. 
 

 

Yes you are, but the government doesn't care, they (and CART) just see the budget bottom line -- "boaters are paying less in total than Joe Public, so they're lower down the pecking order". It's how stakeholders and shareholders in any business work, those with the biggest share get the most influence.

 

Of course you also get far more benefit than a taxpayer, you get to live and boat on the canal all year, they just get to walk/cycle along a nice footpath for a few hours a week.

 

If you want "their" contribution to double or treble then "they" would now be paying 3x or 5x what boaters are, at which point CART can decide to pretty much ignore those annoying boaters completely, stop fixing locks and spend all their money on blue signs and publicity encouraging Joe Public to get healthy along the canal towpaths... 😞

Edited by IanD
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1 minute ago, IanD said:

 

Yes you are, but the government doesn't care, they (and CART) just see the budget bottom line -- "boaters are paying less in total than Joe Public, so they're lower down the pecking order". It's how businesses work.

 

Of course you also get far more benefit than a taxpayer, you get to live and boat on the canal all year, they just get to walk/cycle along a nice footpath for a few hours a week.


yes, of course I do I’m not going to deny that 😃 and I happily pay it. 
But there’s only so much any of us boaters can afford and boaters’ alone cannot pay for the system. 
 

So the general public need to understand they must chip into it more than they currently are, for they are reaping massive benefits for next to nowt. 
If that £1.60 you estimate went to a fiver that would pay the estimated 100 million that’s needed for the canals. 

And CRT will still plead poverty. 

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The debate about boaters payments is a bit irrelevant, really. Unless you're going to drain the system, there has to be maintenance of banks, sluices and locks or farmers are going to get upset when their sheep are under water and householders ditto when their cats drown. So if you're going to spend millions doing so, you might as well make most of it work properly. And get at least some of the money back from us rich suckers who like playing on it.

You can argue about how much, but to maximise your income you have to take into account the law of diminishing returns. Including the taxes paid by those who work on the system, both individuals and companies. But boaters are never going to have much of a say, being either regarded as wealthy people playing with toys or "continuous cruisers" and liveaboards gaming the system

How much you pay makes no odds. You don't influence government policy by paying a lot of tax, your council by living in Band H. It doesn't work like that.

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17 minutes ago, Arthur Marshall said:

The debate about boaters payments is a bit irrelevant, really. Unless you're going to drain the system, there has to be maintenance of banks, sluices and locks or farmers are going to get upset when their sheep are under water and householders ditto when their cats drown. So if you're going to spend millions doing so, you might as well make most of it work properly. And get at least some of the money back from us rich suckers who like playing on it.

You can argue about how much, but to maximise your income you have to take into account the law of diminishing returns. Including the taxes paid by those who work on the system, both individuals and companies. But boaters are never going to have much of a say, being either regarded as wealthy people playing with toys or "continuous cruisers" and liveaboards gaming the system

How much you pay makes no odds. You don't influence government policy by paying a lot of tax, your council by living in Band H. It doesn't work like that.

IIRC that is why the government back in the 50's, 60's and 70's decided to attract leisure boaters. Closing the canals (which form a large part of drainage systems) and providing alternative drainage would have cost more than keeping them open, so it was sensible to reduce the cost by attracting leisure boating.

 

The present government seems to have forgotten this.

 

That said, unless the maintenance backlog is addressed by providing adequate funding the network is doomed and as principal beneficiaries of a well maintained network is seems logical that boaters pay more.

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1 hour ago, IanD said:

 

Yes you are, but the government doesn't care, they (and CART) just see the budget bottom line -- "boaters are paying less in total than Joe Public, so they're lower down the pecking order". It's how stakeholders and shareholders in any business work, those with the biggest share get the most influence.

 

Of course you also get far more benefit than a taxpayer, you get to live and boat on the canal all year, they just get to walk/cycle along a nice footpath for a few hours a week.

 

If you want "their" contribution to double or treble then "they" would now be paying 3x or 5x what boaters are, at which point CART can decide to pretty much ignore those annoying boaters completely, stop fixing locks and spend all their money on blue signs and publicity encouraging Joe Public to get healthy along the canal towpaths... 😞

I don't think I can ever recall, CRT saying that "boaters are paying less than Joe Public".

What they do with monotonous regularity is try to belittle boaters financial contribution to total income.

CRT will always try and maximise revenue from all income streams. However, with
- lacklustre net performance of its property portfolio

- reduction in value of  non-property portfolio

- need to bolster its pension fund
- difficulty in increasing mooring revenue

- falling income from individual giving and other grants

and

- fixed government grant until 2027it
- massively reduced or no grant post 2027

CRT has few options for increasing income other than put up licence fees.

 

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3 hours ago, Cheshire cat said:

Given the lack of funding to maintain the existing waterways is there any point in continuing to restore new ones?

Something I have said for over 20 years.

Waterways if restored should be self funding  otherwise they will just fall into disrepair. 

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39 minutes ago, Allan(nb Albert) said:

- difficulty in increasing mooring revenue

 

What?@!!!! 

 

When I came onto the canals about 15 years ago a BW on-line mooring in the sticks cost about a grand for a full length boat. Now its approaching £4k around here. They seem to have had no problem at all increasing mooring prices. Maybe most of the £4k ones lie empty and un-rented... 

They appear to me to have ripped the arse out of the online mooring market.

 

 

4 minutes ago, peterboat said:

They are semi-electric as well 

 

FTFY

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22 minutes ago, Loddon said:

Something I have said for over 20 years.

Waterways if restored should be self funding  otherwise they will just fall into disrepair. 

 

There is an option for something similar in the 1968 Act where BW / C&RT can sell, dispose or close any of the 'non commercal or cruising canals' (listed in the 1968 Act)

There is also the possibilty to pass the 'running costs' to other charities, statutory authorities or local authorities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screenshot (1668).png

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36 minutes ago, MtB said:

 

What?@!!!! 

 

When I came onto the canals about 15 years ago a BW on-line mooring in the sticks cost about a grand for a full length boat. Now its approaching £4k around here. They seem to have had no problem at all increasing mooring prices. Maybe most of the £4k ones lie empty and un-rented... 

They appear to me to have ripped the arse out of the online mooring market.

 

 

 

FTFY

That was my point. Having sold off BWML and moved to an auction system for the most desirable of its 3,600 remaining moorings, it is difficult for CRT to increase its revenue further.

***** Edited to add - Defra have already twice suggested, that based on above inflation increases in mooring revenue, CRT can further increase mooring revenue. CRT have said that this this not achievable based on its auction system that already maximises returns.

 

Edited by Allan(nb Albert)
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24 minutes ago, MtB said:

 

What?@!!!! 

 

When I came onto the canals about 15 years ago a BW on-line mooring in the sticks cost about a grand for a full length boat. Now its approaching £4k around here. They seem to have had no problem at all increasing mooring prices. Maybe most of the £4k ones lie empty and un-rented... 

They appear to me to have ripped the arse out of the online mooring market.

 

 

 

FTFY

They still get the 25% discount Mike like me.

This year is my first year with a genny that can charge the drive batteries and I haven't needed it except to make hot water at times. Yes it's nice to have if it worked, anyway as I still haven't got to the bottom of the diesel problem its irrelevant. Maybe next week I will sort it, or the week after 😔 who knows 

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12 hours ago, Cheshire cat said:

I'm following this thread with interest. Some very good points being made across the board. 

 

Given the lack of funding to maintain the existing waterways is there any point in continuing to restore new ones?

I would think it depends on funding sources, it's a recurring problem people are well motivated to new projects, but less so for maintenance.

We are very lucky that so many volunteers are available to fill the gaps.

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3 hours ago, LadyG said:

I would think it depends on funding sources, it's a recurring problem people are well motivated to new projects, but less so for maintenance.

We are very lucky that so many volunteers are available to fill the gaps.

 

Volunteers fill the gaps with low-risk/unskilled maintenance (paint, grass, grease, weed, trees...) -- which is undoubtedly valuable, don't get me wrong, but volunteers can't (or aren't allowed to, elf'n'safety and all that...) repair or replace paddle gear or lock gates or do dredging or repair lock walls or reservoirs or culverts -- and it's these failing that lead to navigation restrictions and stoppages.

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4 minutes ago, IanD said:

 

Volunteers fill the gaps with low-risk/unskilled maintenance (paint, grass, grease, weed, trees...) -- which is undoubtedly valuable, don't get me wrong, but volunteers can't (or aren't allowed to, elf'n'safety and all that...) repair or replace paddle gear or lock gates or do dredging or repair lock walls or reservoirs or culverts -- and it's these failing that lead to navigation restrictions and stoppages.

Different up here, they repair tow paths drive boats around and plenty of other stuff. Choose your day and our big locks are operated by them from the towers.

I did think of volunteering but do have to much to do at the moment 

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13 hours ago, Allan(nb Albert) said:

I don't think I can ever recall, CRT saying that "boaters are paying less than Joe Public".

What they do with monotonous regularity is try to belittle boaters financial contribution to total income.

CRT will always try and maximise revenue from all income streams. However, with
- lacklustre net performance of its property portfolio

- reduction in value of  non-property portfolio

- need to bolster its pension fund
- difficulty in increasing mooring revenue

- falling income from individual giving and other grants

and

- fixed government grant until 2027it
- massively reduced or no grant post 2027

CRT has few options for increasing income other than put up licence fees.
 

 

Your first point seems to contradict what you followed it with... 😉

 

Of course they wouldn't come out directly and say it (even though their own accounts and publicity material show it to be true), that would be like them doing a Gerald Ratner.

 

But you can bet your license fee that when CART management (with or without DEFRA and ministers) sit down with beer and sandwiches in the proverbial smoke-filled room and decide how to spend their inadequate pot of money, the fact that DEFRA/government (who see the canals as a resource to be enjoyed by everybody -- but mostly non-boaters...) pay more than boaters -- and can decide on the click of a finger to reduce the grant if they feel that CART are not doing what they (who hold the purse strings) want them to do -- this weighs heavily on the mind of Richard Parry and co, and even if they don't want to do it they decide with a heavy heart to spend money on "general-public-friendly" things (like blue signs) rather than repairing broken paddles and replacing rotting gates (which only boaters really care about).

 

As you say, they have few options for increasing income other than putting up fees -- not just direct license fees but also the slice they take from marinas and hire boat companies. Which is exactly what I said too... 😉

6 minutes ago, peterboat said:

Different up here, they repair tow paths drive boats around and plenty of other stuff. Choose your day and our big locks are operated by them from the towers.

I did think of volunteering but do have to much to do at the moment 

Which are just another two low-risk/unskilled activities. This is a good thing, and might well free up effort/money to do essential maintenance like paddles/gates/locks/dredging/reservoirs, but that all has to be done by CART or contractors.

Edited by IanD
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No doubt another increased cost that will hit the C&RT money pot.

 

I have today received notification that our Commercial Bin collection charges are increasing by around £1.75 per week per bin, and the 'overloaded' charge increasing by another 4p per kg.

 

How many bins do C&RT have 1,000 / 2,000 ?

 

Lets say 1000 & emptied once per week (and not overloaded)

 

£1750 per week = £91,000 per annum INCREASE.

 

The maximum weight that can be put in the bin is 40kgs, anything above that weight (weighed by the truck when emptied) is charged at 40p (now 44p) per Kg excess.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screenshot (1727).png

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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1 hour ago, Alan de Enfield said:

No doubt another increased cost that will hit the C&RT money pot.

 

I have today received notification that our Commercial Bin collection charges are increasing by around £1.75 per week per bin, and the 'overloaded' charge increasing by another 4p per kg.

 

How many bins do C&RT have 1,000 / 2,000 ?

 

Lets say 1000 & emptied once per week (and not overloaded)

 

£1750 per week = £91,000 per annum INCREASE.

 

The maximum weight that can be put in the bin is 40kgs, anything above that weight (weighed by the truck when emptied) is charged at 40p (now 44p) per Kg excess.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screenshot (1727).png

Are any CRT bins emptied once a week? Once a month is more like it.

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3 minutes ago, Arthur Marshall said:

Are any CRT bins emptied once a week? Once a month is more like it.

 

I have no idea but however regularly they are emptied they will still have the daily rental charge - and looking at the bins they are normally vastly overloaded and I bet they get charged more in excess weight charges than it would cost to increase the emptying frequency.

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