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The other important bit of the Budget


Richard Fairhurst

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(though I'm gutted about the cider tax...)

 

Tucked away in one of the documents on the Treasury site is official approval for BW becoming a charity: http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/budget2010...engthbodies.pdf

 

Our bit of blurb if you don't want to wade through the PDF: http://www.waterwaysworld.com/1893

 

Richard

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Yes it will soon be time for canal lovers to put their hands where their mouths are, third sector means B/W working alongside stakeholders such as SOW (waterways watch (proposed)) IWA ect, for it to work stake holding groups working alongside B/W will have to manage projects, volunteers and raise revenue, its time to see who talks a good game can actually play one,, don’t moan about B/W, join them,, its now or never,

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No its third sector or bust im afraid, whoever gets in

 

That's not what I meant.

 

Labour have given Official approval, but won't that take time? Theoretically, could the Tories withdraw the approval?

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Best news for our waterways in a decade! At least now the good guys will have a fighting chance of putting things in order, I ony hope that this is the point when the remaining deadwood within BW gets to turned to to ash. Interesting times to come.

Edited by Laurence Hogg
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Government’s objectives will be to:

 

• ensure robust governance arrangements and purpose so waterways assets and

the public benefits they bring are protected now and in the future;

 

• develop a governance structure that allows all users, local communities and other

stakeholders to hold the new body to account; and

 

• put the waterways on a long-term sustainable footing while reducing the

ongoing cost to the taxpayer.

 

I think the last one will mean increasing the ongoing cost to the user.

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That's not what I meant.

 

Labour have given Official approval, but won't that take time? Theoretically, could the Tories withdraw the approval?

 

No, Labour continued with the Tories' plan for privatising British Railways Board when they got in, even though it was obviously a dog's dinner.

They were able to point out that it wasn't originally their idea, whereas if it had been a success they'd have been able to take the credit, nothing to lose! This'll be the same.

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No, Labour continued with the Tories' plan for privatising British Railways Board when they got in, even though it was obviously a dog's dinner.

They were able to point out that it wasn't originally their idea, whereas if it had been a success they'd have been able to take the credit, nothing to lose! This'll be the same.

 

That still doesn't answer the question.

 

COULD the Tories reverse it if they felt like it come May?

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Much as I too think it's a 'good thing' in principle I do wonder about how the bit "....and the communities that live alongside a greater involvement in how they are managed” will work out in reality.

Does this mean that local authorities are supposed to get involved to the extent of helping fund/support canals in their districts? If so they are even more strapped for cash than central government - and show widely varying levels of interests in the waterways already.

But maybe I'm misunderstanding things.

 

PS I also know that the often quoted parallel the National Trust is a notorious heavy charger for anything connected with it - from cups of tea and parking upwards. I cant see canal users escaping lightly from this changeover even if it is the better option long term.

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That still doesn't answer the question.

 

COULD the Tories reverse it if they felt like it come May?

 

Yes they could.

They could also reintroduce the window tax, and send our soldiers into invade Disneyland whilst making it compulsory for all orthodox agnostics to walk around with a helium balloon tied to their ears.

 

However don't lose any sleep over any of the above happening as previous trends would suggest none of them are likely to occur. :lol:

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Isn't this the sort of thing that could be just as quickly reversed come the General Election assuming the Tories gain control?

 

 

I think it could - this change is dependent on full consultation and legislation according to the info. I don't think it is likely tho'.

 

Val

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Surely the Gov can't be serious,

first, the Government will save £500m by 2012-13 from ALBs. The number of ALBs will be reduced by over 120. The Government will mutualise British Waterways to give waterways' users greater involvement in management of this asset.

They're restructuring or disposing of 120 Quangos (or whatever) which they say will save £500M - thats one days borrowing at current levels - no wonder we're in a mess if thats the best they can come up with. :lol:

 

 

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Ta!

 

A bit like pulling teeth to get a reasonable answer to a reasonable question. But there you go.

If my gut feelings serve me as they usually do then the fact that it will be more of a user controlled entity it will flourish because of the enthusiasm and initiatives of a relative few. when it becomes truly successful as a result of informed judgement and effort then the outsiders with control will step in and milk it again. but in the meantime I seem to be going to launch our boat at the right time, as things in the foreseable future look good. waffle over. :lol:

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Until we see the detail it is impossible to judge how this will affect waterways' users, and which waterways' users for that matter. The intention to "mutualise" BW may sound interesting, but what does it actually mean? How will it work? Who will pay for what? Users? How much? Local authorities (unlikely given that they are going to suffer cutbacks)? However, I think we might safely say that this budget was no different in substance and approach from anything the other parties might have come up with.

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Best news for our waterways in a decade! At least now the good guys will have a fighting chance of putting things in order, I ony hope that this is the point when the remaining deadwood within BW gets to turned to to ash. Interesting times to come.

 

 

So are you going to be one of the volunteers to push forward with the idea that stakeholders are the future, are you going to be one who gets his hands dirty on a regular basis, are you going to be one who puts his hands in his pockets to help a local trust or are you just going to be one who moans about how crap the waterways are,, this time next year you wont be moaning at the deadwood at B/W you will be moaning at a trust that you hope will look after your canal interests,, unless you decide to get off your backside and get your hands dirty of course. Soon you wont be able to slag B/w off, it wont exist,, will you slag off your local trust,, if so why,, you have the chance to join your local trust/organisation and put your ideas forward that a B/W board wont listen to,,, it’s a fair saying now,, to all canal lovers. Boat owners and B/W haters,, PUT YOUR HANDS WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS.

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are you going to be one who puts his hands in his pockets to help a local trust or are you just going to be one who moans about how crap the waterways are,, this time next year you wont be moaning at the deadwood at B/W you will be moaning at a trust that you hope will look after your canal interests,, unless you decide to get off your backside and get your hands dirty of course.

Laurence and I might disagree on plenty of things, but given the amount of time he devotes to Canalscape BCN and various historic boat initiatives, you can't seriously accuse him of sitting on his backside.

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Can anyone point me in the direction of the bit that says that the current BW executives will be taking the relevant pay decreases in line with the new charity status (cf. the NT etc)? I haven't been able to find it yet :lol:

That would be a substantial saving.

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Laurence and I might disagree on plenty of things, but given the amount of time he devotes to Canalscape BCN and various historic boat initiatives, you can't seriously accuse him of sitting on his backside.

 

Quite right!

 

My concern, as a third party advocate and serial volunteer, is that government have only addressed half the issue. The waterways need good governance but also need adequate funding.

 

The concern on funding is that government will simply dump the funding problem on LA's. If its waterways for everyone and we are repeatedly told that X% of the population live with y% miles of a waterway then what is wrong with funding centrally?

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Can anyone point me in the direction of the bit that says that the current BW executives will be taking the relevant pay decreases in line with the new charity status (cf. the NT etc)? I haven't been able to find it yet :lol:

That would be a substantial saving.

 

Its sort of hidden in rule 4

 

senior pay must be agreed with HM Treasury

(in line with senior pay remit);

 

and rule 6

 

The Government will require every ALB to publish more information, more often, including:

 

• the salary of senior executives and the process by which this is agreed. As set out in

the Pre-Budget Report 2009, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury will approve all pay

levels in excess of £150,000 for all civil service appointments and appointments to

public sector bodies subject to Ministerial approval. For public sector bodies (or

individual board appointments) where Ministerial approval is not required, all

organisations making senior managerial appointments in excess of £150,000

should publicly justify this level to the relevant Secretary of State;

 

However, it may be a case of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted as my reading of the document suggests that it is BW's waterways that will go third sector rather than BW!

 

With regard to directors salaries, we were successful last year in ensuring that bonus was not paid. Furthermore, we managed to get some reform making bonus payments more meaningful.

 

On the debit side, BW is refusing to publish details of directors bonus targets for this year using a loophole in the Freedom of Information Act.

 

The problem this year is that BW's directors may decide to pay themselves bonus on the basis that losses are less than last year. Indeed, they have reorganised debt repayment so that they halve projected losses.

Edited by Allan(nb Albert)
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