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cotswoldsman

CRT No Longer Wish To Meet With Boaters

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I am interested in this as accusations have been made and I would be interested in any evidence. Anyone can make accusations. Are all the other organisations implicated?

 

I have no evidence. I could be 100% wrong.

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It would be churlish to criticise somebody for seeking to improve.

Sally joined this forum for about ten minutes a couple of years ago but then withdrew from the fray; her voluntary return to that fray should at least engender respect for her.

Yes, but I would say it was a positive result of the meetings that someone with the title 'head of boating' who to put it politely 'was out of touch' earned boaters respect thereby for the first time in years

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I am interested in this as accusations have been made and I would be interested in any evidence. Anyone can make accusations. Are all the other organisations implicated?

Why not start a poll to see what people believe yes, no or don't know or care?

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Your mind is very muddled. C&RT has a duty to maintain the canals, but it needs income to do so, and boaters' licence fees don't provide enough. So it is entirely proper and correct to remind people of the fact that boaters are in fact receiving a massive subsidy from the Exchequer.

0.35% of canal users providing 30% of CRT's revenue hardly seems like they are receiving a subsidy (CRT's figures, not mine).

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I do think you have a point here, whilst echoing every respect for the people who took the time and effort to make these meetings happen.

Thanks. I think Cotswoldman, Jenlyn and anyone else prepared to devote effort to improve management of our waterways might achieve more through joining an organisation, commanding the trust and support of fellow members and representing their views at meetings with CRT.

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Hi

I have read this thread with avid interest being a boater myself. My small narrow boat is purely for mine and my wife’s pleasure. We are not live-aboards and we haven’t (so far) travelled any great distance in our boat. Keb is based on the Selby Canal and is moored at Bank’s boatyard in Selby. I have read every single post in the thread and even contributed to the thread myself. My licence is current, my insurance is up to date and my mooring fees (some of which also, indirectly, are paid to C&RT) are paid till next year as well. I would like to talk to C&RT possibly at some point and I would also like to have someone who can represent me purely as a boater. I am a member of the IWA who are able to represent me as a canal user but I could well have specific boating problems that the IWA cannot or will not deal with. I also, occasionally, pick up rubbish from in the canal and deposit it in C&RT rubbish bins at the Selby basin and I do volunteer work for C&RT with the River and Canal Explorers. I have been called a “chugger” and “some C&RT person in green with a high vis vest” or words to that effect. As it happens I do not chug and to be perfectly honest I find that tag slightly demeaning which I am sure it is meant to be.

 

As I have said I have read all of this thread with avid interest. This is going to be a long post so if you do not want to read it then please don’t.

 

The bottom line to all of this is that the government, whatever you think of it, decided that B.W. was no longer going to be a government department and they have discarded us and B.W. to the charitable sector to make our way as best we can and B.W. are now called C&RT. There are masses and masses of organisations wanting our money. I will not contribute to most of them partly because I cannot afford to contribute to all of them and partly because I seriously object to my money going to fund wars in distant countries or to line the pockets of the people who “run” those countries which is what I am told happens to some contributions. I am constantly bombarded with highly distressing pictures and videos of poor little children dying and tigers with tears in their eyes because their foot is caught in a trap of some sort. My immediate reaction is turn those images off and try to forget about them all and I would think that that is the reaction of quite a few people if not the majority. Perhaps a case of me burying my head in the sand but there you go that’s me. The point I am trying to make is that C&RT needs all the money it can get and more. It will need to get all the money it can from whatever source it can if it is too survive. C&RT are up against an absolute plethora of people wanting our money and face massive competition. If C&RT are to survive as a charity then fees and what C&RT get in from other sources will have to go up. Sooner or later C&RT will lose all government funding and the only income they will have is what comes in from the general public including boaters. C&RT is all we have so we, whether we like it or not, have to work with it. We have nothing else. The government have decided that E.A. are not going to come across with us to the charitable sector after all. Well blow me down why didn’t we see that coming. E.A. look after flood containment and disaster management and all that stuff. Wouldn’t it just be stupid of whatever government is in power to put that sort responsibility into something as whimsy and unpredictable (as far as funding is concerned) as the charitable sector.

 

As for representation. Some of us on The Canal World Discussion Forum are making the assumption that CWDF represents the majority of boaters. Whether we like it or not CWDF is not the center of the boating universe nor does CWDF represent the majority of boaters. Believe it or not there there are actually boaters out there that don’t even have computers or smart/I phones and have never heard of CWDF. Whilst I commend the 3 named individuals, and the others, who are trying to put boaters views across I do not know any of them. They have not, in any way, contacted me and asked for my views or even whether I would want to them to represent me. In fact reading the way some of the content that occasionally appears in some of their posts is put across, interesting as it sometimes is, I would not want them to represent me and they would have a big job convincing me that they could represent me.

 

So as far as I can see C&RT have a massively huge job on their hands. They have to get as much money in as they can from whatever source they can. Some of those possible sources are going to be extremely hostile to paying more money or even any money at all. To organise a boaters representative organisation is going to take a huge undertaking by somebody and the contributers to CWDF cannot be the only people that are given the chance to join this hypothetical organisation. It has to encompass ALL boaters including those that are not part of CWDF and those without computers. I do not know how to do this nor, if truth be told, would I want to organise anything like that. I do believe we need something to represent boaters exclusively but boaters, anglers, walkers and bikers all will have to work together, without any animosity, if we are to keep our inland waterways alive.

 

These are my opinions. It is what I believe. I may be wrong. I sincerely hope I am wrong in some of the things I have said. I probably have another 8 years on the canals if I am lucky. By that time I hope I will see that the canals and waterways of Great Britain have survived and, indeed, thrived.

 

Pete

  • Greenie 3

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A bit like Sueb then!

 

:)

 

 

MtB

What am I wrong about? Please clarify Edited by sueb

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Thanks. I think Cotswoldman, Jenlyn and anyone else prepared to devote effort to improve management of our waterways might achieve more through joining an organisation, commanding the trust and support of fellow members and representing their views at meetings with CRT.

 

It has not missed you that that organisation does not exist hence this endeavour then?

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Or indeed any atheist.

Any atheist requires proof to believe (and even then a damn good explanation why they should worship such a flawed being, if he ever chose to provide proof).

 

You don't need evidence to disbelieve just lack of it.

 

Edited to add....But I digress.

Edited by carlt

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It has not missed you that that organisation does not exist hence this endeavour then?

It would need a crane, a big lorry and even bigger office for jenlyn to attend a meeting at CRT. Jenlyn is 28 tonnes and fat.

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boaters, anglers, walkers and bikers all will have to work together, without any animosity, if we are to keep our inland waterways alive.

 

Pete

 

It is mostly lack of courtesy that causes any friction. Boaters are fully aware of the picture, funding and multi purpose use of the towpath. Boaters are least able to choose where their boating happens, the most captive. Our thoughts are invariably going to be focused on the waterway. If there were no fish, I'm sure the anglers would have their reasons.

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Because bugger all is spent on real navigational maintenance anyway.

 

Most of CRTs spending appears to me to be wasted on hairbrained schemes to force boaters into visitor moorings, fitting trip harzards to locksides, upgrading towpaths to two metre wide graded surfaces suitable for cycling and wheelchairs, new lock ladders, converting piled banksides to seeded sausages, protecting water voles. The only truly navigational maintenance that seems to get done is reactive, after a problem arises e.g. collapsing lock walls, failing lock gates, bridges falling to bits into the cut, etc.

 

 

And I'm sure that reactive maintenece ends up being more expensive than preventative maintenence. Locks are part of overall waterways navigation. It's not just dredging.

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Or indeed any atheist.

 

It's not quite the same. Atheist's beliefs are partly based on evidence and also the lack of evidence from those of religious conviction.

 

Athiests do not have to "disprove" god. If there is a burden of proof then it rests with those who believe in the existence of something.

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It has not missed you that that organisation does not exist hence this endeavour then?

The other alternative is to set up a new organisation, though that would be a lot more work than working with an existing one. If it's primary aim is to make an impact on how CRT run the waterways, I'm not sure that many would join or gain funding to support its work. I feel that the top priority is to focus on how to raise major funding for our waterways.

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The other alternative is to set up a new organisation, though that would be a lot more work than working with an existing one. If it's primary aim is to make an impact on how CRT run the waterways, I'm not sure that many would join or gain funding to support its work. I feel that the top priority is to focus on how to raise major funding for our waterways.

 

One thing that the economic recession brings home to nearly everyone is the necessity to make the most of what one has.

 

Throwing more money at problems or into services is currently not an option.

 

I do not see a boater's organisation's top priority would be raising money for the waterways. CaRT as a charity has that within its remit. Even then I would not see it as its top priority. In changing to CaRT from BW there should have been a major management overhaul not carrying on with the same old fudge. IMHO CaRT needs to manage its resources better and in that it needs the support of those that use what it is charitably offering.

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I'm not sure about that. I don't know as much about the history of the canals as you, but I heard that in the 1950s, 60s & 70s the plan was to let the canals fall into disrepair and eventually fill them in. In many cases that plan of neglect was started and only just pulled back from the brink.

 

These days if there were no boats maintenence would be minimised to the extent that locks wouldn't need to be maintained and navigation wouldn't be an issue. It would just be maintaining the towpaths & trees, etc.

You only have to look at how much it cost to fill in the Rochdale Canal in Manchester in the 1960s or 70s to realise that it would cost an extraordinary, and prohibitive, amount to do away with the land drainage provided by canals.

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Whilst I commend the 3 named individuals, and the others, who are trying to put boaters views across I do not know any of them. They have not, in any way, contacted me and asked for my views or even whether I would want to them to represent me.

 

I think this is where many seem to miss why John Sloanes meetings were so good. He arranged the venue, paid for it out of his own pocket in some cases, and then asked boaters in a specific area (eg the North) if they would wish to attend a meeting (for northern boaters) in Leeds on such and such a date and time....and that the meeting would only fit x number of attendees. Anyone could then book a seat, and go. John never said he was representing anyone...he was merely facilitating a process whereby normal boaters could talk to CRT. CRT have now told normal boaters to go join an organisation before they'll sit around a table and talk to them.

  • Greenie 2

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How about if there were hypothecated funds one could contribute to? Supposing as a boat using "friend" you could pay your couple of quid a month with a guarantee that it would be spent only upon navigation related expenditure and would be in addition to and not instead of the base budget from CaRT's usual sources. Cyclists could have the opportunity to raise funds for the waterside velodrome and others could pay for the hedgerow dog toilet.

In short, a base level provided for as is and any extras provided by the relevant user group. I suspect the result would be a decent navigation well stocked with fish and an impassable towpath knee deep in dog shit where cyclists and walkers battle to the death.

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Actually, I've just thought about that. An association dedicated to raising funds to enhance the navigation probably would get CaRT's full attention and if it were an association of and for boaters then it means consideration for boaty issues and extra cash for boaty things.

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So, 10m other users. Hmm, how much do they contribute to CRT income? I'd assume next to nowt. The "friends" scheme doesn't appear to be generating a lot of interest but I don't have the income figures.

How do CRT subsidise their income. Here's a thought, will go down like a lead ballon at CRT though. You want to walk on the towpath £2.00pa please. You want to ride your bike on the towpath that'll be £5.00pa. Can you imagine it. Well over £20m in revenue. Perish the thought.

Firstly I do not agree with a lot of the twoddle which is being aired in this thread, there are an awful lot of axes out, about all sort of different grips, from someone who believes that all the towpath is a walking surface - wrong only the path part is maintained as a walk way, the green bit is grass and may well have holes in it which is why one should have a gang plank. The only part of a canal bank designed to tie up to is a wharf, not very mile of towpath. I'm sorry for the guy who knackered his ankle but be more careful this is the outside world and I for one do not want it to become a linear garden, for continuous moorers. Canals are a mode of transport not a housing estate, which they are becoming in certain places. If we need flaoting housing estates let build them offline somewhere, not have yet more linear moorings.

 

CRT need money, the Government have just given them £10M for towpath improvements mainly for bikes but walkers will benefit as well.

 

Yesterday on The Ashton Canal which I walked down, between 9am and 3pm, I saw, 3 boats with a family on each, 5 families out walking 2 of which had canal side picnics, which I saw - not bad in urban Manchester, at least 47 bikers, of which a good few, maybe 10 were out and back bit hard to remember those you have seen before, 7 dog walkers, 9 joggers - 3 which were out and back, 5 fishermen. 7 boats moored at Portland basin and several moored in the new basin at Fairfield, didn't walk there to count them. 1 Continuous moorer who is now lurking up the old Isslington Arm.

 

As someone else has said getting boaters to collectively do, something is worse than herding cats, it has always been like this, the canals which have re-openned have not been because of boaters, except in a small minority, but because of activist who have a wide view than boaters, some of these have gone on to become boater owners but still have a wider view of the world. I am one such, as is John Dodwell.

 

It is very hard to communicate with a herd of cats, which is why I suspect C&RT have now run away, it was taking a lot of time and effort and the cats would not agree, a thankless task for those on both sides.

  • Greenie 3

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the only practical way to have effective representation of large numbers of boaters is via organisations.

 

 

So... NABO is rather undemocratic, RBOA is renowned for tending to the conservative at the expense of those down at heel, and the IWA needs no explaining after the CRT elections.

 

A fourth organisation would appear to be called for to unite the disgruntled masses. It would seem that that; and possibly a fifth too, is what might be evolving... After the next CRT council election; when IWA would frankly be insane to try what they tried the last time; maybe there will be an organisation who could step to the table and adequately represent the unaligned masses.

 

Good oh!

 

All we need is those unaligned masses willing to step up.

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