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Laurence Hogg

A return to D&IWE areas or the beginning of the end of CRT??

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This "Press release " came out yesterday:

CANAL & RIVER TRUST BEGINS INTERNAL CONSULTATION ON STRUCTURAL CHANGES

 

Following recent changes to its Executive team, the Canal & River Trust yesterday (6th December 2017) began a 60-day period of internal consultation about changes to its internal structures and a significant reduction in the size of its senior management team. 

 

At the heart of the proposals to transform the organisation is a change to strengthen the accountability of regional teams, and to shift the current waterway management structure to better face the outside world, so the Trust can engage and influence its partners in the most effective way. Subject to consultation, this would see the Trust move from the current ten waterways to six larger regions, and embed more of the current national teams directly into the new regional teams.

 

Commenting on the news, Richard Parry, Chief Executive, said: “These changes are about re-focussing and simplifying the organisation so that we enable everyone across the Trust to make their greatest possible contribution, to serve our customers and support local communities to enjoy their local waterway. We have to find ways to do more and cost less to ensure a secure and sustainable future for the Trust.”

 

The Trust anticipates making further announcements about the new structures in Spring 2018.

 

ENDS

 

Already within the last 12-42 months dozens of seperate registered "British Waterways" offices have been newly set up around the country, the list is available on "Company check". https://companycheck.co.uk/search?term=british+waterways

Together with the release of today, exactly what is going on, are we creeping back to the older ideas?

Edited by Laurence Hogg

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39 minutes ago, Laurence Hogg said:

This "Press release " came out yesterday:

CANAL & RIVER TRUST BEGINS INTERNAL CONSULTATION ON STRUCTURAL CHANGES

 

Following recent changes to its Executive team, the Canal & River Trust yesterday (6th December 2017) began a 60-day period of internal consultation about changes to its internal structures and a significant reduction in the size of its senior management team. 

 

At the heart of the proposals to transform the organisation is a change to strengthen the accountability of regional teams, and to shift the current waterway management structure to better face the outside world, so the Trust can engage and influence its partners in the most effective way. Subject to consultation, this would see the Trust move from the current ten waterways to six larger regions, and embed more of the current national teams directly into the new regional teams.

 

Commenting on the news, Richard Parry, Chief Executive, said: “These changes are about re-focussing and simplifying the organisation so that we enable everyone across the Trust to make their greatest possible contribution, to serve our customers and support local communities to enjoy their local waterway. We have to find ways to do more and cost less to ensure a secure and sustainable future for the Trust.”

 

The Trust anticipates making further announcements about the new structures in Spring 2018.

 

ENDS

 

Already within the last 12-42 months dozens of seperate registered "British Waterways" offices have been newly set up around the country, the list is available on "Company check". https://companycheck.co.uk/search?term=british+waterways

Together with the release of today, exactly what is going on, are we creeping back to the older ideas?

Most of these appear to be several DECADES old, rather than months

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1 hour ago, Laurence Hogg said:

 

Already within the last 12-42 months dozens of seperate registered "British Waterways" offices have been newly set up around the country, the list is available on "Company check". https://companycheck.co.uk/search?term=british+waterways

Together with the release of today, exactly what is going on, are we creeping back to the older ideas?

Rather than rely on Companycheck which is simply a private organisation that wants to sell information about companies, why not look at the authoritative government source - Companies House.

 

A search at https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/ for "British Waterways" produces just the following with both words included:

  • BRITISH WATERWAYS MARINAS LIMITED

    04930453 - Incorporated on 13 October 2003

    First Floor North Station House, 500 Elder Gate, Milton Keynes, MK9 1BB

  • WATERWAYS PENSION TRUSTEES LIMITED

    Matching previous names:
    BRITISH WATERWAYS PENSION TRUSTEES

    01852161 - Incorporated on 2 October 1984

    First Floor North Station House, 500 Elder Gate, Milton Keynes, MK9 1BB

  • BRITISH WATERWAYS BOARD

    Total number of appointments 2

    64 Clarendon Road, Watford, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, WD17 1DA

 

The company numbers listed by Company Check are garbage. For example, a search on the first listed (64 Clarendon Road, Watford, no. 3055034) at http://wck2.companieshouse.gov.uk//companysearch gives:

Name & Registered Office:
CROWNFAST SECURITIES LIMITED
88 KINGSWAY
HOLBORN
LONDON
WC2B 6AA
Company No. 03055034
  spacer.gif spacer.gif
spacer.gif

Status: Dissolved 15/12/1998
Date of Incorporation: 10/05/1995

 

And a search on the second (Durham Wharf, Brentford, no. 3032633) gives

Name & Registered Office:
VOGUECLASS LIMITED
24 CRESCENT ROAD
ALVERSTOKE
GOSPORT
HAMPSHIRE
PO12 5DH
Company No. 03032633

Status: Dissolved
Date of Incorporation: 14/03/1995

 

I can't see any connection whatsoever between Crownfast Securities or Vogueclass and BW/CRT.

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Am I the only one wondering what D&IWE areas  are? Probably something I should know but can't figure it out :-) 

haggis

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1 minute ago, haggis said:

Am I the only one wondering what D&IWE areas  are? Probably something I should know but can't figure it out :-) 

haggis

Docks and Inland Waterways Executive

Which came before BW (1948-1962)

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2 minutes ago, mayalld said:

Docks and Inland Waterways Executive

Which came before BW (1948-1962)

Thank you! I had never heard  of them before. I have learned something new today!

haggis

 

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The D&IWE areas did (more or less) persist throughout the lifespan of BW, until Robin Evans came along and reorganised BW into ten or so regions. I always thought that was an incredibly wasteful reorganisation; it would have been simpler and cheaper - and retained more local knowledge among staff - just to move some of the functions of the 25 'waterways' up into the five/six 'regions' to reduce duplication, and then downgrade the waterway offices into glorified depots focused solely on maintenance. (For example, in the latter Dave Fletcher days, each one of the 25 waterway offices had their own press officer - which made some sense in the gung-ho days of the Millennium restorations, but was unaffordable in the DEFRA era.)

Maybe moving back to this structure is a smart idea. Just a shame about all the spending to reorganise back and forth in the intervening years...

Edited by Richard Fairhurst

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In 1998 I thought I'd turned my back on meaningless management babble when I was made redundant from The Railways.

Then I worked for a Government Agency and instead of helping disabled people obtain sustainable employment. I found myself .....

Attending Monday morning "Huddles" to agree our "Committed Outcomes" for the forthcoming Friday = Get in before you're starting time Monday to promise your impossible achievements for this week. If you fail to get them we'll accuse you of failing in your promise to the board!

"Parking discussions while we took a more helicopter view of our options" = Don't bother me with your troubles, just agree to what I want you to do!

"Touching base off line to secure a 24 Carat feeling before the grass grew too long on this one." = Stuff protocol, just go see them and get the deal done regardless of how much damage it does to future relations.

 

So perhaps Richard Parry might explain exactly what ........

“These changes are about re-focussing and simplifying the organisation so that we enable everyone across the Trust to make their greatest possible contribution, to serve our customers and support local communities to enjoy their local waterway."

First of all anyone putting 36 words into a single sentence has simply no interest in being clear. 15 -20 maximum.

Secondly, his quote only means two things.

1) We failed miserably when we recruited our management team.  We gave jobs to decision makers who in turn aren't inspirational leaders and can't motivate.

2) We aren't committed to Training or Development of our people in order to improve.  It's easier to simplify the structure so we can point the finger of blame quicker.

That covers the first part of his sentence.  However what the hell ".... to serve our customers and support local communities to enjoy their local waterway." means, is anyone's guess.

That is meaningless twaddle.  Any customer based organisation that feels the need to point out the most basic principle of satisfying customers is desperate.

 

I don't approve of C&RT bashing just because! 

However this should be insulting a lot of people's intelligence.  I for one would be so more impressed if he'd said something like ......

"The role of canals and rivers has changed enormously in just 100 years. I want our staff to feel authorised to help further the enjoyment of everyone they meet out there today.  To do this we must change our structure, our communication and attitude. We have ways to do this and I welcome all suggestions to achieve early success."

  • Greenie 1

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Announcing a restructure (subject to "consultation" which, if it wasn't enshrined in employment legislation, would probably just be a formality; and it helps nudge a few into early retirement to save some younger staff member's jobs) just means budget cuts to CRT and fewer staff. Losing potential European funding streams is a biggy for a charity like CRT. And all charities are already fighting for a smaller pot of money from fewer funders in this country.

The press release mainly means the charity doesn't have enough money to remain financially viable as it is and redundancies are coming before the end of the financial year IMHO.  Hence the timing. Miserable Christmas present for CRT staff to know jobs will be on the line by the end of March.  

It'll be part of the reason such an onus has been put on volunteering and trying to bring in new money like the impending license changes for us, mooring costs going up and all the schemes for attracting cyclists and walkers which will have funding contracts associated with them; not to mention the selling of assets which has been going on since BW.  I would say that CRT are right now very worried about the ability of the organisation to still function 3-5 years from now.  Which is a shame. And I hope they make the right level of cuts now rather than jeopardise the whole future of the organisation - it's a tough call for the Board and Execs.

However they divvy up the country's waterways, the staff resources will be spread much thinner which will ultimately impact on our experience. We'll have to live with that.  I hope the new structure with the resources they're left with turns out to be as sensible as you guys think it will be. I didn't know the old structure. Fingers crossed if that's the way it's going, it will work.

 

Edited by BlueStringPudding
  • Greenie 3

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The North Wales and Borders {Shroppie system + Weaver) manager has just retired.  I am expecting that the NW&B region will be merged with North West and Pennines.

Less regional managers is a financial gain for CRT, but a major loss for boaters.

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On 12/8/2017 at 14:47, Richard Fairhurst said:

The D&IWE areas did (more or less) persist throughout the lifespan of BW, until Robin Evans came along and reorganised BW into ten or so regions. I always thought that was an incredibly wasteful reorganisation; it would have been simpler and cheaper - and retained more local knowledge among staff - just to move some of the functions of the 25 'waterways' up into the five/six 'regions' to reduce duplication, and then downgrade the waterway offices into glorified depots focused solely on maintenance. (For example, in the latter Dave Fletcher days, each one of the 25 waterway offices had their own press officer - which made some sense in the gung-ho days of the Millennium restorations, but was unaffordable in the DEFRA era.)

Maybe moving back to this structure is a smart idea. Just a shame about all the spending to reorganise back and forth in the intervening years...

 

After nationalisation the D&IWE / British Waterways organisation was somewhat based on railway practice and consisted, if I recall correctly,  of a General Manager in overall charge, with an assistant  plus Chief Engineer etc,  and two regions (north and south) each with a regional engineer eand staff. These were then divided into four  divisions each with a divisional manager etc.  Under this were areas each run by an Area Engineer, and sections each run by a section inspector.  Post 1962 and the British Waterways Board the geographical divisions (but not the regions) disappeared along with jobs such as 'divisional traffic manager', and eventually new divisions were created for freight and leisure.  Areas and sections were then done away with and managers appointed to run individual waterways (or even part waterways as in 'Leeds & Liverpool east') to the extreme annoyance of at least one area engineer!   This was again modified more recently.  I think it's inevitable as circumstances change that the organisational structure needs to reflect that, and it's always easy in hindsight to challenge earlier decisions.  It looks as though some of the functions which had been centralised may be going back into the waterways - but the detail remains to be seen.

Regards

 

David L   

  • Greenie 1

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21 minutes ago, fanshaft said:

 

After nationalisation the D&IWE / British Waterways organisation was somewhat based on railway practice and consisted, if I recall correctly,  of a General Manager in overall charge, with an assistant  plus Chief Engineer etc,  and two regions (north and south) each with a regional engineer eand staff. These were then divided into four  divisions each with a divisional manager etc.  Under this were areas each run by an Area Engineer, and sections each run by a section inspector.  Post 1962 and the British Waterways Board the geographical divisions (but not the regions) disappeared along with jobs such as 'divisional traffic manager', and eventually new divisions were created for freight and leisure.  Areas and sections were then done away with and managers appointed to run individual waterways (or even part waterways as in 'Leeds & Liverpool east') to the extreme annoyance of at least one area engineer!   This was again modified more recently.  I think it's inevitable as circumstances change that the organisational structure needs to reflect that, and it's always easy in hindsight to challenge earlier decisions.  It looks as though some of the functions which had been centralised may be going back into the waterways - but the detail remains to be seen.

Regards

 

David L   

Thanks for the background, David. It is interesting how in many large organisations there may periodic  changes in structure, staffing and operational procedures but in many instances, if you are lucky to still be in a job at the end,  you may end up exactly where you started!

As part of the consultation now underway can you comment on how any proposed changes may affect the partnerships around the country, and in particular, any projects currently underway? I have to say that I have heard some rumours which indicate some changes.

Regards

 

Howard

edited to add the last sentence

 

 

Edited by howardang

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9 hours ago, howardang said:

Thanks for the background, David. It is interesting how in many large organisations there may periodic  changes in structure, staffing and operational procedures but in many instances, if you are lucky to still be in a job at the end,  you may end up exactly where you started!

As part of the consultation now underway can you comment on how any proposed changes may affect the partnerships around the country, and in particular, any projects currently underway? I have to say that I have heard some rumours which indicate some changes.

Regards

 

Howard

edited to add the last sentence

 

 

NABO says that they will be disbanded.

I suspect that they will be reformed with six new chairs and a different focus. 

With regard to projects underway you might wish to consider what happened to Central Shires projects, when that WP was disbanded  ...



 

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On 12/8/2017 at 15:52, zenataomm said:

 

However this should be insulting a lot of people's intelligence.  I for one would be so more impressed if he'd said something like ......

"The role of canals and rivers has changed enormously in just 100 years. I want our staff to feel authorised to help further the enjoyment of everyone they meet out there today.  To do this we must change our structure, our communication and attitude. We have ways to do this and I welcome all suggestions to achieve early success."

that is over 50 words

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On 08/12/2017 at 14:19, mayalld said:

Docks and Inland Waterways Executive

Which came before BW (1948-1962)

"Dainwex" in the good old telegraph days

If they go back to that structure in full, the K&A will be split between two regions...

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33 minutes ago, rasputin said:

that is over 50 words

  • The longest sentence is 32 words, still too long I grant you.

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Too long? Read some Bills before parliament, or the Acts they turn into. Some have sentences of two words, some over 100.

Hansard, column 1165, third paragraph:

https://hansard.parliament.uk/Lords/2017-07-11/debates/805C6758-D847-475F-98D2-49F75499FAF8/TaylorReviewOfModernWorkingPractices

Here endeth my digression . . .

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On 12/11/2017 at 11:11, howardang said:

Thanks for the background, David. It is interesting how in many large organisations there may periodic  changes in structure, staffing and operational procedures but in many instances, if you are lucky to still be in a job at the end,  you may end up exactly where you started!

As part of the consultation now underway can you comment on how any proposed changes may affect the partnerships around the country, and in particular, any projects currently underway? I have to say that I have heard some rumours which indicate some changes.

Regards

 

Howard

edited to add the last sentence

 

I have no knowledge yet of any proposed changes other than the sensible suggestion that Partnership members will not have to automatically step down after two terms' membership.  I think we may learn more at the next meeting.  I don't think the Partnerships will be scrapped (not sure why NABO would suggest that to be the case) but re-alignment with the new waterway areas would make sense.  I get the impression that each Partnership operates slightly differently (within the general remit) which no doubt reflects the leanings of the chairman and waterway manager.  Certainly it's valuable to have a diverse group from the communities  which engages with and reaches out to the wider world,  as the Trust, of necessity, must garner support for its work from as many sections of the community as possible.

Regards

 

David L

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On 12/11/2017 at 11:00, fanshaft said:

 

After nationalisation the D&IWE / British Waterways organisation was somewhat based on railway practice and consisted, if I recall correctly,  of a General Manager in overall charge, with an assistant  plus Chief Engineer etc,  and two regions (north and south) each with a regional engineer eand staff. These were then divided into four  divisions each with a divisional manager etc.  Under this were areas each run by an Area Engineer, and sections each run by a section inspector.  Post 1962 and the British Waterways Board the geographical divisions (but not the regions) disappeared along with jobs such as 'divisional traffic manager', and eventually new divisions were created for freight and leisure.  Areas and sections were then done away with and managers appointed to run individual waterways (or even part waterways as in 'Leeds & Liverpool east') to the extreme annoyance of at least one area engineer!   This was again modified more recently.  I think it's inevitable as circumstances change that the organisational structure needs to reflect that, and it's always easy in hindsight to challenge earlier decisions.  It looks as though some of the functions which had been centralised may be going back into the waterways - but the detail remains to be seen.

Regards

 

David L   

On the question of office staff levels, from what I've seen the current structure is fairly 'lean and mean' compared that which obtained under the original British Waterways regime post 1948 with its regions and divisions.  That said, I recall even in 1965 there was only one 'pleasure craft officer' for the whole of the north of England  -  a lovely chap called James (Jim) Tasker who wrote all his letters in beautiful copperplate. 

David L

Edited by fanshaft

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4 hours ago, fanshaft said:

I have no knowledge yet of any proposed changes other than the sensible suggestion that Partnership members will not have to automatically step down after two terms' membership.  I think we may learn more at the next meeting.  I don't think the Partnerships will be scrapped (not sure why NABO would suggest that to be the case) but re-alignment with the new waterway areas would make sense.  I get the impression that each Partnership operates slightly differently (within the general remit) which no doubt reflects the leanings of the chairman and waterway manager.  Certainly it's valuable to have a diverse group from the communities  which engages with and reaches out to the wider world,  as the Trust, of necessity, must garner support for its work from as many sections of the community as possible.

Regards

 

David L

Thank you for that clarification. I was hearing on the rumour machine that all Partnerships were being wound up with immediate effect and I have to admit that I was surprised. It will be interesting to see what eventually happens.

Howard

 

 

 

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Yes the Docks & Inland Waterways Executive- this was formed on January 1st 1948 and was one of the Executives responsible to the British Transport Commission. It acquired docks and independent waterways and then had transferred to it the railway owned canals (1948-1950). Not all waterways came under BTC /DIWE ownership, though. waterways such as the Manchester Ship Canal remained separate and that id why the Bridgewater has a separate license. The next Government changed the structure abolishing the executives (apart from London Transport) and creating the Board organisation. For the waterways they had their own board and British Transport Docks became a separate organisation. Although in the case of Sharpness that dock remained under British Transport Waterways control as did Keadby.

So, whilst CRT are changing their management structure they cannot return to the days of the DIWE. 

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On 12/12/2017 at 20:14, howardang said:

Thank you for that clarification. I was hearing on the rumour machine that all Partnerships were being wound up with immediate effect and I have to admit that I was surprised. It will be interesting to see what eventually happens.

Howard

 

 

 

As Partnership Chairs are integral to C&RT's governance, it is very difficult to see how they can wind up the current ten regional partnerships without replacing them with six new ones. What C&RT have done is synced the reorganisation with most chairs and members coming to the end of a second term of office and thus retiring. As such C&RT is in a position of being able to appoint new chairs (who, in turn, will appoint members).

I guess what has been done is that Chairs have been asked to carry on until the new WP's are in place. 

A while ago, finding a massive failure to publish minutes of partnership meetings in the first half of C&RT's current financial year, I made a series of information requests. These missing minutes are now available via C&RT's meetings calendar or whatdotheyknow.com.

One partnership, East Midlands, had failed to publish minutes for 18 months. These are now also available.
 

Perhaps one of the reasons Partnership minutes were not published is that C&RT does not want people to ask what is going to happen to old projects under the new arrangements.

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On 12/13/2017 at 10:43, Heartland said:

 For the waterways they had their own board and British Transport Docks became a separate organisation. Although in the case of Sharpness that dock remained under British Transport Waterways control as did Keadby.

 

Plus Sharpness and Weston Point.  Keadby was sold fairly recently to its operator PD Ports.  Weston Point is now owned by Eddie Stobart - who appear to resist any enquiriees for use.  Sharpness is leased to and operated by the Victoria Group.

 

David L

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On 12/15/2017 at 09:42, Allan(nb Albert) said:


 

Perhaps one of the reasons Partnership minutes were not published is that C&RT does not want people to ask what is going to happen to old projects under the new arrangements.

I think this is more likely an error of omission rather than conspiracy.  Certainly my Partnership (NE) has nothing to hide.  Anyone wanting to find out anything about a Partnership project or other matter could simply e-mail the chair! .

Regards David L

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