Victor reckons this is crackers!

Published: Sunday, 05 February 2023

SO WE now have someone who can differentiate and calculate the wellbeing from being besides water!

A study at  King's College London for Canal & River Trust has showed that—and here I had better quote'the real time effect of spending time on canals comes with a 6% improvement in mental wellbeing, compared to just green spaces alone'.

How on earth that is calculated, and who by, is not told, but for me, it's crackers, though obviously to do with promoting the trust's waterways.

RustyBluebellsYet for instance, we always stop and moor on our cruises near to footpaths on those green spaces. For walking on such gives the peace of the countryside on soft ground instead of the hard surface of the towpath and the chugging boats and the risk of speeding cyclists (that are never mentioned of course) so I know which is best for usand our dog'swellbeing!  We prefered such as in the picture for a 'wellbeing' walk with our old dog Rusty... 

As for that 6%, that can only be a figment of someone's vivid imagination, for just think about 'wellbeing'.

It's obviously to do with how you are feeling, and there is a myriad of things that can influence it, such as being with someone you care for, looking forward to something that pleases you, a chat with someone, bright sunshire or even enjoying a smoke. All can happen on the towpath and give you a feeling of wellbeing, but oh, no, it's the water that does it!what crap!  And 6% at that. Really! can you believe it?  I certainly can't.

Green space and water

Then it's all contradicted by the announcement by the government under the Environmental Improvement Plan 2023 that every household in England is ‘to be within 15 minutes of green space or water’.

No differentiation between green space and water you notice, that makes somewhat of a mockery of that claim that water is 6% better.

Being told that everyone is to be within 15 minutes of water or green space means that the average walking speed of three miles an hour means you must be within a mile of the aforementioned, which I reckon will take some doing. And as for young children and us older ones that pace will take some keeping up, which means the green and water must be less that a mile away!

So does that mean any new houses being built in the future have to be within the mile of grass or water? That will take some doing in the towns and cities.

Seems to me like another of those grandiose schemes that never come to pass, but keep some hidden bod on a good earner—eh?

Send 'em back

Someone or other usually sends us a waterways calendar to adorn a wall, but this year I'm obviously not in favour so plumbed for purchasing a Chesterfield Canal Trust one. Big mistake!

For when I wrote a couple of appointments on the January page, turning last Wednesday to February I discovered I had the same appointments again!  But this time though on the same day on a different date!

So what had occurred? Some printer, who obviously never checked what paper he or she was printing on had done so on semi carbon copy paper, so any pressing on one month also transferred to the next month, giving the same appointments only a month later.

However the printer was told the mistake and agreed to a reprint, obviously on the correct paper. So if you had a 'bad' one you can return it to Chesterfield Canal Trust and another will be sent.

Toddbrook VegUnbelievable

So the long awaited repair to Toddbrook Reservoir embankment is now going to cost a staggering £37.6 millions to repair!  Up from the original £10 millions.

And all because of lack of maintenance on the part of Canal & River Trust—Here's the often published picture of the weeds growing through the slabs on the embankment that caused its failure. 

A failure that had many families urgently moved from their homes whilst the RAF stepped in and dropped stone into the cavity to prevent the complete failure of the embankment and the flooding of their homes.

And let's make it clear, the resulting inquest laid the blame squarely on the trust for its lack of maintenance though at the time it claimed it regularly maintained the embankment, though the growing weeds clearly showed otherwise.

But a staggering £36.7 millions to repair?  And three times the original estimate.

UrgentCareCentre400A comparison

So let's make a comparison with the latest extension to our local Chesterfield Royal Hospital that is constructing a new unit.

This is an Urgent and Emergency Care Development that was started in September 2021 and will be open this summer and is on target.

It will provide the hospital with a state of the art environment that enables staff to truly transform urgent and emergency care services.

The comparison is that this new facility is on budget at £24 millions, whilst the Toddbrook repair is three times its original budget of £10 millions.

So you have this extensive building at £24 millions and yet the construction of a earth embankment and water course that can surely easily be remedied with today's earth moving equipment at a staggering £37.6 millions.

There is something very wrong here.

The energy support scheme delay

If you want someone to blame about the government delaying the energy support scheme for boaters, look no further than the travellers.

The main delays have been caused by the travellers, both road going and water borne, with their demands. They have held things up for months with their going on about legal action under the Human Rights Act.

If their demands are not met, it was our Kelvin who joked nearly six months ago, that some would rather the government just sent someone down the towpath chucking bundles of cash in to each boat as they pass with no questions asked!

Yet this is more or less what they demanded. It has reached a point where the government is not returning their calls or emails and are pushing ahead with its plans nearly six months late.

Victor Swift