Victor reckons there's something of a panic at CaRT Towers

Published: Sunday, 05 March 2023

YOU must all be aware of what I am referring to—Canal & River Trust claiming it is a charity.

Our Allan Richards clearly shows it is not, but simply a government body. And certainly proved by Ken Churchill who yesterday quoted the Charity Commission itself, it clearly stating—'The Canal & River Trust do not come on their remit'.

I reckon that that is clear enough, eh?

So little wonder that there is something of a panic at Cart Towers.

Will it continue to flog it's 'charity' status?  Or attempt to quietly drop it? And what of all the cash it has received from those misled into its claim of being a charity, when even the Charity Commission itself won't acknowledge it?  Naughty.

stalybridgepriorA very poor return

It is a very poor return indeed of only six boats allowed a week on a waterways restored at a cost of £20 millions.

That is what it cost to restore the Huddersfield Narrow Canal 22 years ago, but now restricted to only six boats having passage a week.

So from the 3rd April there will be just one boat allowed each way on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

And bearing in mind there were 10 stoppages on this waterway from April last year, progress could be somewhat delayed.

What a stupid question

There is another very much restricted waterway, the Gloucester & Sharpness, that CaRT blithely tells us is going to be closed for either half a canal closure or a full day each week, but alas not one particular day—that isn't too helpful!

Not sure what the 'half a canal closure', means though, as no particulars given.

Anyway, it's going to consultation (another one?) for boaters to choose.

Oh yes?  Can you imagine boaters deciding if its to be half a canal closure or a full day? Daft question!

Emptied its coffers

It seems that the Bargees have shot themselves in the foot by so much argument with the government over the energy support—as its members are now getting none!

But it has created another problem. All the use of legal representation has just about cleared its coffers!

And all to no avail!  Silly sods.

Private Eye

So the  very investigative Private Eye has its eye on Canal & River Trust, telling of its liquidity issues.

It reminds its readers of the trust's increasing panicked noises about the rising cost of maintaining the waterways. telling of it taking over from British Waterways with its enormous property portfolio and grant fundingthat alas runs out in 2027, but now pushed back twice.

Private Eye tells that none of the plans of the trust added up, it comparing to the National Trust that has a huge paying membership, yet the trust, in contrast, having relatively tiny numbers of boaters to charge licences and moorings.

Of how the trust took on the huge portfolio of waterside property but sold it to raise funds, so loosing its income and even last week putting the Northwich Navigation Yard on the market, then quoting Richard Parry—"Unless we can increase income from all sources at a level above inflation, it will not be possible to secure a sustainable future for our waterways."

How about CaRT getting rid of a few of those non-waterway directors and managers, together with a few lawyers for starters and then concentrate solely on the waterways..?

Still the same

Ken Churchill, whose boat hung on  Lock 40 on the Leeds & Liverpool tells me that he discovered that there were 49 lock chamber hang-ups on CaRT records with a total of 22 for the Bank Newton Flight prior to his boat sinking.

The highest risk flight on the whole system, 22 of the 31 Eshton Road Lock chamber wall boat hang ups on CaRT records at that time.

So much for the claim for safety at all times, eh?

The time to tell

Now is the time to tell. Of how when CaRT started claiming it was a charity that our esteemed editor contacted the Charity Commission to ask its registration number, to be told it was not registered with the commission! It was not a bona fide charity.

But dear Thomas hung on to this little gem and so the many waterway publications accepted and used the Press Releases stating such as 'the charity Canal & River Trust', etc. etc, he knowing that there would come a day when all would be revealed and realised it was not a charity at all—the rotten sod!

And in case you wondered, that is why the word 'charity' was always removed from the Press Releases from CaRT in narrowboatworld, whilst the others carried blithely on. He knew they certainly did not bother to find out!

And it was our Allan Richards who let the cat out of the bag. To put it mildlycausing chaos!

Victor Swift