Saturday, 8 November 2014

A Poll Tax for the Inland Waterways (8)

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.

Trust Membership

The management structure of BW was tinkered with many times in the past. The takeover by the trust should have done more than create another round of redundancies and cutbacks in the budgets. All of the above issues should be telling the trustees that there is a serious management issue and its one that needs urgent remedial attention. There should be an immediate moratorium on any more changes. The trust needs to consult with the public and the easy way to do this would be to take the hint provided by the previous government minister. Have a paid membership to the trust, one where the trust and its senior officers would be answerable to the membership.

Perhaps like a government quango the trust feels its above scrutiny by the public. That the public should have no oversight and no say in how the trust is expected to perform. However, it seems to me that the public are already voicing their concerns by not reaching into their pockets.
So where is the responsibility element?
Where was the oversight by the trustees?

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