Monday, 2 May 2016

CaRT in 7th Place

How much do the top UK charities by income pay their senior staff and can the higher salaries be justified to an increasingly sceptical public? 

After the collapse of Kids Company sent a shiver through politicians and public to discover the levels of salaries of CEO and directors of charities. The pay of senior charity staff in the third sector has been under increasing scrutiny. In particular the demand for clarity has come from some politicians and is being questioned more and more by sections of the media. 

The Charity Commission, has said that disproportionate salaries could be bringing some charities into disrepute. This comes on the back of a report by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations which has urged charities to be more open about pay levels and how they are set. 

The better the charity is known (household name) then the charities tend to pay their highest-paid executives the least. Because they are instantly recognised as charities, with higher public fundraising profiles. However, for some of the least recognisable charities its the other way round. 

It is pointless just comparing what the individual CEO earns. Without also understanding that there will be other senior managers on significant salaries as well. To make a comparison you need a common denominator to directly compare charities like for like. The best way to do this is on their operating income.

So where does the Canal and River Trust and its CEO/Directors/Senior Managers sit in the Charitable League Tables. The Trust Income is given as £165,000,000

With 1 CEO @ £200,000 with an additional 65 Directors/Senior Managers @ £60,000 or more. The minimum cost is £4.2 million pounds per annum. (Pensions contributions and bonus payments are not included) The Trust Income from boats and moorings is £33,800,000. Now to put that in a boating context. If the average boat licence is around £500 a year. That's a minimum of 8,200 narrowboat licence fees to pay the senior staff.

Are we getting value for money?
 
CaRT is currently in 7th place for high pay in the top 100 charities.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Spring Cruse 2016 ❾

Hillmorton to Rugby

Date:  27th April 2016

Overnight the weather was cold with showers of rain.

Morning:  Stocked up with food we filled with water on the Hillmorton water point. Before a steady cruise to Rugby.  The water point in Rugby was not working - which proves the old rule. Never pass a working water point!

Afternoon:  Moored up on the park side.

Evening:  Television watching.


Wildlife: 

Birds: House Sparrow, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Rook, Jackdaw, Starling, Blackbird, Mallard, Mute Swan, Pied Wagtail, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Robin, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Coot, Moorhen, Canadian Goose, Wood Pigeon, Buzzard, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Black Headed Gull,  Sedge Warbler, Swallow, Pheasant,and Green Woodpecker.

Butterflies: Meadow Brown,

People walking the towpath - 5
People cycling the towpath - 0
Boats on the move - 6

Today's Total:

Miles: 3.0
Locks: 0
Swing / Lift Bridges: 0
Tunnels: 0
Pump Outs: 0
Engine Hours: 4.0

Accumulated Total:
Miles: 2732.9
Locks: 1744
Swing / Lift Bridges: 362
Tunnels: 63
Pump Outs: 26
Engine Hours: 3671.9

Monday, 25 April 2016

Confession time.

OK, OK I have a confession to make....

In a moment of weakness I went on one of my infrequent sojourns on Farcebook.  To a forum that is becoming more widely known as NUGgets-R-Us. 

It seems that some of the NUGsters have become aware that there is someone spray painting graffiti on the Inland Waterways. I can only assume that some of them must have gone to Specsavers and obtained for the first time a pair of non rose tinted spectacles. There was an immediate outpouring of angst and foot tapping. However the conflagration flames were quickly fired, to incandescent levels.

In 'Groundhog Day' scene, resembling the hand to hand fighting in the Bore War - 'Pump-out -v- Cassette' - altercation. The usual entrenched battle lines were quickly drawn and the sniping began prior to the main heavy artillery exchange of a salvo of smoke and mirrors.

On one side was the First 'Curtain Twitching' Division of the IWA. (Independent Waterways Army) The ground troops included the 'your boat is not shiny enough' brigade. Who immediately identified the graffiti culprits as - disgruntled boaters, who had been refused a boat licence. 

How you can be a boater without a licence never entered into the accusation. Which was proven beyond any unreasonable doubt. Using the same Kafkaesque logic that – it must be train drivers - that are spraying graffiti on the railways infrastructure. 
It should be remembered that CaRT have also spent money carving poetry on lock gates. CaRT have also spent money on 'Artistic Graffiti' competitions on waterways walls. 
On another side was a small detachment of the common sense brigade. However, as the battle commenced. And being hopelessly out numbered and outgunned. The small common sense detachment fearing for their sanity. In a scene reminiscent of Dunkirk, evacuated the arena. 

The second group of participants in the battle were the well entrenched commandos of the canal bridge trolls. Who added nothing to the conversation but helped by adding extra vitriol whenever the flames died down. 

The final group of participants in the battle were the CaRT apologists - who as usual - loudly harrumphed several times. Then from a lofty position - said that cleaning the graffiti was money being wasted out of the CaRT maintenance budget. 

The argument that this is money that could be spent on canal maintenance is a spurious one. CaRT deliberately underspend by about 50% on maintenance year on year. Nigel Johnson, CaRT's ‘Legal Director' made a sworn statement to the high court that in 2013/14 ‘The cost to the Trust of maintaining the inland waterways is approximately £130m per annum'. Have a look in the annual report for what is actually being spent.

This is not reducing the number (50,000 plus) of repairs. This £130 million figure is to reach a steady state where it gets no better or no worse. This is a continuation of the years of BW underspending – which went on for well over a decade prior to CaRT.  

As for another widespread held delusion that CaRT is only taking miscreant boaters to the High Court – it should be remembered that CaRT has lost more than it has been successful with.

All that aside – graffiti encourages more graffiti – just as dumped rubbish encourages more fly tipping. Boaters would be far better if they were united against such practices. Rather than making sweeping generalisations that do more to fragment the waterways communities than anything else.
 

I could not help but think that the nuclear fallout will be around for a while - so my brothers in arms - take care out there - its a jungle.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Spring Cruse 2016 ❽

Braunston Marina to Hillmorton.

Date 23rd April 2016

Overnight the weather was clear and very cold.

Morning: 9:30 saw me throw off the ropes and head back up the north Oxford canal. Waved goodbye to Maffi who was going heading southThe wind had quite a bite and so the garb of the day was hats, gloves and a warm coat.  Intended calling in at the canal shop for fuel - but it was closed. Current price is advertised as 60p a litre.

Afternoon:
Hillmorton waterpoint to take on water. Then went back up the lock to  Granthams Bridge.

Evening:  


Wildlife:

Birds: House Sparrow,  Magpie, Carrion Crow, Rook, Jackdaw, Blackbird, Mallard, Mute Swan, Pied Wagtail, Goldfinch, Chiffchaff, Chaffinch, Robin, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coot, Moorhen, Canadian Goose, Buzzard, Black Headed Gull, Sedge Warbler, Swallow, Green Woodpecker the highlight being the first Sedge warbler of the year. However, there were no skylarks in the fields.

Butterflies: Meadow Brown.

People walking the towpath - 11
People cycling the towpath - 0
Boats on the move - 9
 
Today's Total.
Miles: 7.5
Locks: 4
Swing / Lift Bridges: 0
Tunnels: 0
Pump Outs: 0
Engine Hours: 11.0


Accumulated Total.
Miles: 2729.9
Locks: 1744
Swing / Lift Bridges: 362
Tunnels: 63
Pump Outs: 26
Engine Hours: 3
667.9


Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Spring Cruise 2016 ❼

Rugby to Braunston Marina.

Date 19th April 2016

Overnight the weather was mild and included the odd shower.

Morning: An uneventful trip through the Hillmorton locks.

Afternoon: Late afternoon we arrived in Braunston. The waterpoint and elsan are still out of commission.

Evening: Into the Boathouse pub for a meal with a couple of friends Dave and Wendy. Watched television in the evening.

Wildlife:

Birds: House Sparrow, Dunnock, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Rook, Blackbird, Mallard, Mute Swan, Pied Wagtail, Goldfinch, Chiffchaff, Chaffinch, Robin, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coot, Moorhen, Wood Pigeon, Black Headed Gull and Swallow.

Butterflies: Meadow Brown and Small White.

People walking the towpath - 1
People cycling the towpath - 1
Boats on the move - 5

Today's Total.
Miles: 10.1
Locks: 3
Swing / Lift Bridges: 0
Tunnels: 0
Pump Outs: 0
Engine Hours: 6.3

Accumulated Total.
Miles: 2722.4
Locks: 1740
Swing / Lift Bridges: 362
Tunnels: 63
Pump Outs: 26
Engine Hours: 3656.9