The goverment tricked

I WELL remember the forming of the Waterways Partnerships when the government was tricked into believing that they would create a permanent funding stream for the waterways, writes Hugh Rhodes.

They were used as a reason for changing the then British Waterways into a charity, with many thousands of pounds given to each of them to 'get into business'. But there was no Dragon's Den style selection, but any with even the slenderest connection to a waterway were taken on board and took the money—thank you very much!

Produced very little funds

The result was obvious. The partnerships used the money to set themselves up, formed committees, sat around their various tables and talked, but little else, and needless to say produced very little funds. As your columnist stated over three years altogether they produced £25,000, the actual cost of setting just one of the 13 in 'business'.

The present man in charge of Canal & River Trust tells us the partnerships are to have a 'greater clarity of purpose', whatever that means, but we are not told how they will create that 'funding stream', as it is obvious that they never will.