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Ray T

Notes of CRT Press Briefing 11th September 2017 Hatton Offices

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Notes of CRT Press Briefing 11th September 2017 Hatton Offices

The Canal and River Trust has celebrated its 5th birthday.

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The sources of Trust Income: 

Charitable income £31.3m. Donations £2.9m. Defra Grant funding £50m Boat licences and moorings £36.6m. Income from BWML Marinas £8.1m. Utilities and water development £27m. Investment and property income £46.9m. Other Income £ 0.1m.

 A small surplus is forecast despite last years unplanned expenditure due to flood damage. The Charitable spend is up circa 2%.

Unplanned Stopages

Time period                                        In our control                     Not in our control*                          Total

Full year 2016-17                                       549                                                251                                         800

First quarter 2016-17                                  135                                                73                                           208

First quarter 2017-18                                  86                                                  30                                           116

*Includes closures to facilitate Police activities, vandalism, third party activity, fallen trees, boat damage etc.

Works delivered             

Crowther Bridge completed, Carpenter’s Lock opened and Grantham Canal Lock restoration. £7.0m spent on reservoirs.

Successes

Five canals have been awarded a “Green Flag” status. Peoples’ Postcode Lottery has become a “direct beneficiary”, this is worth c.£1m additional income. Previously unused building in the Lancaster development has won a major planning award by “The Planning 17”.

New Trustees

Sir Christopher Kelly, a former Civil Servant who Chaired the Committee on Standards in Public Life, NSPCC; Chair of Kings Fund (Health).

Sue Wilkinson, former Director of Supporter Development, National Trust; Chair of Living Waterways Awards 2017.

Health & Safety Conference

Safety performance is steady but the Trust are seeking a “step change” improvement.

The first Trust Wide safety conference for several years is to be held in Birmingham.

CRT are looking for safety performance to rise from good to great.

The conference will bring together circa 100 Trust staff and volunteers.

CRT wants to gain an insight as to how their contractors and the Waterways Recovery Group manage safety.

A volunteering conference is also to be held.

An Outcomes Report has been released.

Winter Works Plan

293 stoppages to be completed by end of March 2018., 30 completed the summer – mainly in the West Midlands where there are alternative routes. 180 individual lock gate leaves are to be replaced across 87 sites.

Key Projects

Tardebigge Lock Flight, works at 5 locks.

Lincome Lock on the River Severn.

Locks 91 & 92 (Deansgate and Castlefields Locks) in central Manchaster.

Hardmead and Enfield Locks on the River Lee.

Derwent Mouth Lock on Trent & Mersey Canal.

Leeds Lock No 1.

Pollington Lock 13 on the Aire & Calder – three sets of Lock Gates.

Around half of the 72 projects of this year’s major project programme will be delivered in the winter, including:

£1.6m Upper Bittle Reservoir major safety works.

£500k Tringford Pumping Station.

£300k Ramsden Swing Bridge and footbridge.

£300k Llangollen Canal wet abutment repairs.

£300k Macclesfield Canal, Townfield embankment protection

£250k Culvert 55 Shropshire Union Canal

£250k New Mainline waterway walls (West Midlands)

£250k Butterley Reservoir works

£250k Handcocks Swing Bridge Improvements, Leeds & Liverpool

 Dredging

 £8.5m programme this financial year, dredging over 35 different sites, with around half of the programme to be delivered this winter

Highlights include:

£600k Rufford Branch dredging

£500k spot dredging on the Lancaster Canal

£400k spot dredging on the Coventry Canal

£300k Montgomery Canal dredging of the SSSI

£250k annual dredging of the Ribble Link.

   Open Days

LOCATION

OPEN DAY DATES

Lock 29, Banbury Lock, Oxford Canal

18th& 19thNovember

Lock 91 Deansgate, Rochdale Canal

2nd& 3rdDecember

Lock 1, Derwent Mouth Lock, Trent & Mersey

2nd& 3rdDecember

Johnson’s Hillock, Leeds & Liverpool Canal

TBC –February

Lock 31, Meaford Bottom Lock, Trent & Mersey

3rd& 4thFebruary

Lock 1, Aire & Calder Navigation

3rd& 4thFebruary

Foxton Locks (8-16) repairs, GU Leicester Line

10th& 11thFebruary

Grindley Brook, Llangollen Canal

TBC -March

Lock 18 Seend Lock, Kennet & Avon Canal

10th& 11thMarch

Lock 3, Parkhead Bottom Lock, Dudley Canal

11thMarch

Lincomb Lock 9 River Severn

TBC

Water resources update

Britain had a prolonged dry period starting late Summer 2016, through winter and spring. But the main part of Summer was wet – 9th wettest in a series dating back to 1910.

Rainfall effects

 Update from the Environment Agency:

Despite the recent wet weather, groundwater issues remain, especially in the south-east. Limited groundwater recharge seen. Some surface water recovery, but short-lived and returned back to low flows.

“Main concerns with poor groundwater situation and risk of a 2nd dry winter.”

Impact on boating

 The Oxford & Grand Union Hydrological Unit showing a 10-25% risk that there will not be enough water for navigation until the end of the boating season.

Within Ox & GU, the Leicester Section is main area of concern (Watford-Foxton-Kilby Bridge-Kings Locks). Stoppages for gate relining next week onwards.

Also continued issues with K&A, Regents and Rochdale (overnight lock closures).

Beginning to focus on prospects for 2018 season – autumn rainfall and recharge is critical

(Next Reservoir Watch to be published around 19 Sept)

 Licensing Consultation  

 14 stage one phone calls with national boating organisations completed and Involve’s report published

Stage 2 involved 80 boaters in nine regional workshops, representing different types of boaters and views expressed

Involve reviewed and collated feedback which determined the themes for stage 3

Stage 3, which launches in September, allows every boat licence holder to comment on the consultation

Emails sent to every boat licence holder for whom we hold email addresses, and posted to those for whom we don’t

Hard copies available on request from Customer Services or Trust offices

 London Mooring Strategy

 The strategy seeks to:

Facilitate more general towpath and limited long-term offside moorings in quieter parts of the London waterway area such as the Grand Union and Paddington Arm, Slough Arm, Upper Lee, and River Stort.

 Relieve the pressure on mooring space in busier areas such as the Regent’s Canal and the Lower Lee Navigation by creating short stay visitor moorings, and increasing the monitoring and management of short stay and general towpath moorings.

 Make improvements to facilities that will benefit current and future boaters and help spread mooring more evenly across the waterway.

 Make improvements to facilities that will benefit current and future boaters and help spread mooring more evenly across the waterway.

 There are however limitations: 

There is a finite amount of mooring space in the London waterway area and this strategy cannot on its own address an ongoing growth in boat numbers in the region. If numbers continue to rise in line with recent years it will be to the detriment of all users of the waterways. In this scenario, the Trust will need to undertake further work to develop possible options for how boat numbers could be managed and potentially limited in very busy sections of the London waterway.

 CRT aims to:

 Development of new long-term moorings to be supported and prioritised in quieter/less busy areas of the London waterway (primarily outer London)
The strategy identifies some, albeit limited, capacity for new long-term moorings, mostly on the Grand Union and Paddington Arm, the Slough Arm, the Upper Lee, and River Stort.

Encourage development of long-term moorings from a diverse range of providers
Realising all the potential long-term mooring opportunities in London will require proposals to be brought forward by the Trust, commercial, and not-for-profit providers. The strategy seeks to facilitate and encourage long-term mooring proposals to make the most of the limited space available.

Improve provision, maintenance and management of short-stay moorings

Free short-stay moorings are essential to allow boats to navigate in and through London and play a key role in making it possible for boats to visit London’s waterways. Daily sightings are proposed at most short-stay visitor moorings to ensure these moorings are available to be used.

Develop custom short-stay moorings to meet customer demand

A successful pilot has demonstrated demand for pre-bookable moorings. Paid-for pre-bookable moorings will provide an additional offer, alongside existing visitor and general towpath moorings, for boaters who want guaranteed mooring space when visiting London. Pilots of pre-bookable trade moorings, eco-moorings, and moorings for boat maintenance will seek to increase the services the Trust is able to offer boaters.

Winter Moorings that recognise and balance the needs of all customers’ using the waterways

Winter moorings in London are in high demand and help generate income that the Trust can reinvest into maintaining and improving the waterways. The Trust will develop and improve the provision of winter moorings, whilst minimising the impact on other boaters and waterway users.

Better provision and management of boating facilities to meet customer need

An increase in investment in boating facilities over a number of years will support the Trust’s proposed strategy to spread mooring more evenly across the waterway. New water, waste and refuse facilities and improvements to towpath moorings will help meet the challenge of the past and predicted growth in boat numbers and improve the experience of boating in London.

Improve communication between boaters and the Trust

Giving boaters better and easier access to information and improving the channels of communication between the Trust and boaters will be essential to successfully implementing this strategy. The strategy seeks to develop new, and improve existing, methods of communication with boaters.

Increase business boating activity in key London waterway destinations

Several key destinations across the London waterways offer the opportunity for business boating to increase revenue for the Trust and increase the appeal of the waterways to a wider range and number of customers.

Consultation

 CRT aims to:

Publish draft report September

Consultation will follow, September –November

Review feedback / further revisions November

Strategy agreed by end of 2017

Develop implementation schedule over three years from 2018

 Boats in Bloom

 Over 3,000 votes cast for nation’s favourites blooming boats.

 Around 400 ‘thank you’ certificates handed out

Widespread print and broadcast media coverage

Imojean – most flower-filled boat

Herb Boat – best business in bloom

Lucky 13 – most edible

Dreamcatcher – imaginative use of space

Meg Merrilies – best towpath garden

 East London Waterways Festival

10,000 people attended the festival

50 boats registered to participate

500 people went through Carpenters Road Lock on free passenger trip boats

700 people enjoyed kayaking, rowing, stand up paddle boarding and dragon boat racing

180 people watched an evening cinema screening

Two Olympic medallists lent their support, Joe Clarke and Jess Eddie

 Manchester Pride Festival

 This was attended by leading CRT personnel and “Vinnie the Vole.”

 

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The notes are my report of the meeting. I will not enter into any conversation regarding the contents. Any questions please refer them to CRT.

Edited by Ray T

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