TWO weeks ago, narrowboatworld exclusively revealed that, having already defaulted in making a decision on CaRT's future funding by July 1st 2022, DEFRA had reneged on a new undertaking to make a decision this Autumn.
Allan Richards takes us through recent developments:
ITV News picked up the narrowboatworld story and provided coverage on its six o’clock news. Contributors were Anne Husar, Deputy Chair of the National Association of Boat Owners (NABO) and Michael Fabricant, MP for Lichfield and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Waterways Group (APPWG ). Both put the case for future funding.
Also featured were CaRT’s chief executive, Richard Parry and an unnamed DEFRA spokesman.
A news report titled 'Like letting the Tower of London fall down'—Government fails to commit to funding canals upkeep” can be found at:
Of particular note was DEFRA’s statement. It ignored previous failures to make an announcement and compounded this by omitting to provide a new date by which a decision would be provided:
“We are conducting a review to determine the case for continued funding for the Canal & Rivers Trust, and are unable to provide further detail until this has concluded.”
Michael Fabricant has secured a Parliamentary debate titled “Future of the UK's canals and waterways”. This is a Westminster Hall debate starting at 9.30am on Tuesday 22nd November.
Hopefully it will go better that other recent attempts to get parliamentarians lobbying for future funding.
The danger is that, having avoided its contractual obligation to make an announcement and publish a report by 1st July 2022, government will continue kicking this particular ball further and further into the long grass.
Will government actually make an announcement in 2023. Probably not!