Victor: The unthinkable

Published: Sunday, 25 March 2018

I AM about to state the unthinkable!

No few people have remarked, and I too am beginning  to wonder, that perhaps CEO Richard Parry was brought in to get rid of the government's costly (£50 millions a year) inland waterways, by the simple means of allowing them to deteriorate.

In the past we never had an 'indefinite stoppage' of a major waterway closed for months on end, yet we have recently suffered two.

Never has so much money been wasted—John Coxon gave the details—on so much that has no bearing on the actual waterways.

Never was there such a massive backlog of maintenance.

Never were there so many stoppages.

It was early in its reign that Cart gave up its interest in the restoration of the Cotswold Canals and now it is washing its hands of the restoration of the Northern Reaches of the Lancaster Canal. What next?

Not so self sufficient

It was way back in July 2012 that Canal & River Trust was formed with the then government awarding it a cool £50 millions a year, that would be reduced in time as it was expected that Cart would become self sufficient, as was irresponsibly promised by one chief executive.

Alas that promise never materialised, with things so bad that a loan for £100 millions has had to be agreed and now the possibility of a further loan of £50 millions in the offing—and to top it all Cart is hoping to sell its marinas, that we were told were purchased to create funds for the waterways.

Wasted money

We all know of the ridiculous Waterway Partnerships, with 10 such organisations grabbing the offered £25,000 each and blowing it on themselves, with their greedy hands outstretched for more, the result 'our man at Cart' tells us is that the partnerships ran up a bill in excess of £700,000 a year.

This is a great money wasting scheme, so it needs to be retained, but also Cart must be seen to be doing something about it so it has changed the 10 Waterway Partnerships to six Regional Advisory Boards!

Still on the spend

The latest money wasting scheme is the decision to 'launch a revitalised brand for the Trust', with our being told:

We will be launching our new look at the end of May. Not everything will change at once, as we have said, but you should see some changes straight away—an updated website and social media pages, some newly branded vans, uniform and more engaging signage in key locations.

And of course another new logo!

That of course has already been done when Cart came into being...

So where do you think it will all end?

Victor Swift