Monday, 10 November 2014

A Poll Tax for the Inland Waterways (10)

A Poll Tax for the Inland Waterways

Governments of all colours have from time to time come up with various bits of stupid legislation, that has eventually created the pit for their own downfall. 
  • For Thatcher is was the Poll Tax. 
  • For Major it was Family Values. 
  • For Cameron it was Big Society. 
  • For the Railways it was the wrong kind of Snow. 
  • For the Canal and River Trust its the wrong kind of Trustee.

There has been chapter and verse written over the last decade and longer, highlighting the distrust that many hold for the way that the waterways are being managed. What has become plain to see with the 20:20 vision provided by a decade or more of hindsight. Is that the quango charged to manage the waterways, was ill equipped with the right kind of personnel for the job. I'm not talking about the skill set of the general staff. The finger of responsibility has to be pointed much higher up the command structure.

New Broom

Richard Parry has my grudging respect. He has taken up a difficult challenge to turn the trust around to make it a viable business operating in the charitable sector. Running a business where a significant part of the income stream will be via a public begging bowl is always going to be a challenge. But if Richard is to succeed in that task he needs the right people in the right places. Running the trust is not a one man band type operation. 

We have already seen some of the previous incumbents in the senior echelons choose to leave. As far as I can see this has been seen as being a positive move in the right direction. But there were also what are proving to be vague promises made about transparency and openness. 

I have to ask the question has the trust lost the plot and is it time to look at the role and capability of the current group of trustees. Can someone nudge Chairman Hales awake please. I think the old buffer has nodded off again and not realised that he has dropped the ball.

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