Monday, 5 January 2015

Thinking Out of the Box (11)

Thinking out of the box (also thinking out side of the box, thinking beyond the box or thinking the unthinkable) is a metaphor that means to think differently, unconventionally, or from a new perspective. The above cliché, has become widely used and refers to novel or creative thinking. Thinking out of the box, is forcing yourself to give considerations to options that you might discount in the first place. To think outside the box is to look farther and to try not thinking of the obvious things, but to try thinking beyond them.

I had a boss a few years ago who encouraged thinking of the unthinkable. Whenever someone came up with an idea, supported with a rational case. It would be up for discussion in a staff meeting which my boss would chair. The one thing he always asked was - 'What do we need to do to make this idea work'. Its a simple but effective ploy, it cuts straight through any negativity, by anyone coming up with reasons why the idea could not be implemented. It was then down to a simple cost benefit analysis.

I'm having another thinking out of the box moment. It's been over a year since my last little foray into mulling over what the trust is up to. So I have applied myself to the moorings issues in and around London and occasionally elsewhere. 

Each issue has a number of drivers. Each driver has to be dealt with in isolation. There are boater owners and there are owners of boats. These are two different animals, one with white stripes on black - the other has black stripes on white.

Boat owners are those with or without a home mooring. Some who are cruising the waterways the year round and others who due to other work/school commitments need to have a home mooring. 
The owners of boats are exactly that - people who see the canals as a linear housing complex which they find to be affordable when compared to renting or buying property. They don't want to move - they are just the sort of people a marina could provide for.

Everyone if they own a boat or are a boat owner has the right to purchase a boat licence without differentiation. The problem for the Canal and River Trust is that it does not differentiate however, when it comes down to the boater or boat owner's requirements. Developers are required in many places to provide affordable housing when being granted planning permission. It could also retrospectively be extend to the marina developments and to the trust itself. To provide affordable long term moorings.

The problem for the trust is one of its own managements (quango mentality) making. The trust's predecessor encouraged the construction of new marinas to the point it was on a construction spree where the sky was the limit. Numbers of new boats coming onto the canals was a big selling point to marina developers.  Pie in the sky predictions and promises aside. BW/CaRT then top loaded marinas with a connection charge based upon the number of berths provided. Thereby upping the underlying costs of some but not all marina operators. 

Now if those ludicrous charges for connections (which are only applicable to the BW encouraged bonanza of new marinas) which CaRT's own marinas are almost exempt from - were to be removed. This could then be instrumental in creating the equivalent of affordable housing as moorings. Instead this ill thought through 'snuffling snouts round the trough' idea, has driven people in and then priced them out of the marinas their numbers were used to encourage in the construction of. 

Now money is being invested in building an enforcement team.  Whose numbers are slowly but inexorably growing. Like some sort of a job creation scheme devised to massage the unemployment figures. The trust has created it's very own problem and then provided a job creation scheme with which to manage it with.

Is there any need for us to worry about how our licence money and the public's donations are used. With all of the millions that is raised by the Waterways Partnerships. The friends funding that is causing the coffers to embarrassingly overflow. With the foresight from the huge return on the pubs and waterside developments. The trust it would seem have money to fritter away on anything other than infrastructure maintenance.

Thinking Out Of The Box (10) Click Here
Thinking Out Of The Box (9) Click Here

Thinking Out Of The Box (8) Click Here
Thinking Out Of The Box (7) Click Here
Thinking Out Of The Box (6) Click Here
Thinking Out Of The Box (5) Click Here
Thinking Out Of The Box (4) Click Here
Thinking Out Of The Box (3) Click Here
Thinking Out Of The Box (2) Click Here
Thinking Out Of The Box (1) Click Here

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