Saturday, 14 February 2015

Left hook anyone?

It's valentines day - Did you remember?

But I digress...

When Richard Parry was appointed to the CEO role, I did wonder to myself what changes he would bring. Like everyone else and their grandmother I did a bit of searching on Google. I thought to myself, that's a pity - no third sector or charitable experience. I expected that the trustees would give him an agenda for change. As everyone knows, when there is a new boss, there comes a period often referred to as the 'honeymoon period'. A time when even the fiercest critic sits back and takes stock. Time to give the new kid on the block a bit of elbow room. However, I hoped that if nothing else - he would be a communicator.

I give the man his due, Richard Parry proved to be much more than a communicator. He became something of a 'meet and greet evangelist' for the trust. I found it a refreshing change from what had gone before. Though to be honest anything would have been an improvement. Surprisingly, boaters were much more likely to meet him on the towpath than anywhere else. The series of public meetings he subsequently held were welcome, if a bit guarded. Which in fairness might have been more of a reflection of what he needed to catch up on rather than being defensive. The public relations charm offensive had began and only time would prove or disprove an appetite for real change.

OK I admit that Richard won some grudging respect from an old curmudgeon like myself. But I always held the opinion that there would be as many internal issues within CaRT to be resolved, as there would be external ones. I was right and a few of the old gang have nobly fallen on their swords and quietly left the stage. There was some speculation that it was the stage of the 'Muppet Show' and that one or two had exited the stage via a hook appearing in from the wings. Its true there have been changes - but its my opinion - that the changes have so far have only been cosmetic, rather than real substance. Rather than changes that would create the ethos and confidence leading to a much needed change in the fortunes of the trust.

There have also been some other changes, without much in the way of an accolade. Following on from the example set by the very low key exit of Evans. I am sure there will have been internal changes that never surfaced outside of Ivory Towers. However, even Richard has to stand in the burgeoning shadow of the chair of the trustees. There can never be a real and significant change in the boaters perception of the trust. A perception of being just a wishy washy clone of BW until the chair Tony Hales walks.

Maestro can you get 'Animal' to provide us with a drum roll please! Can someone get the hook ready!  The 'Great Gonzo' is about to leave the stage!

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