Thursday 24 July 2014

CaRT comes 3rd out of 150,000

Public trust and confidence in charities: analysis of findings - See more at:
Public trust and confidence in charities: analysis of findings - See more at:
Public trust and confidence in charities: analysis of findings - See more at:
The Canal and River Trust is a relatively new Charity. Rightly or wrongly it comes up for some criticism for many different reasons. Now criticism in itself is not a bad thing - as long as the criticism is constructive and appropriate. I think when you take on the mantle of charity - that has to be recognised as a real change from being a quango. The problem has been that the change to the third sector was achieved without also recognising the need to accept a new set of public perceptions. The transitional team were still in the previous mindset when it came to dealing with the public and had no experience of the mindset needed to perform in the third sector. 

I attended the 'gloss and glitz' which made up the CaRT public meeting in Birmingham. As I expected there was little in the way of change - other than CaRT has seemingly had a change of mind and seems now to be on something of a lightweight charm offensive. It appears that the answer to all problems is to get more people on the towpath as either visitors or volunteers. When the meeting was thrown open to the floor a question was followed with a petition containing five and a half thousand names being presented. Tony Hales acknowledged  it was very nicely bound. 

The most radical proposal from the floor was to allow constant cruisers to overstay on moorings if they were doing voluntary work. Otherwise there was little else to comment upon.

The trust has a poor record of the management of its public profile. By way of an example, CaRT has not let the grass grow under its feet. Because according to the Charity Commission. The Trust is already the third most complained about charity in the country. Leaving around 150,000 other charities, trailing in their wake! I hope the unwelcome league position has also proved to be something of a wake-up call. 

The subject of the petition that was submitted was a exemplar of CaRT's ability to garner a million pounds worth of bad publicity, by evicting vulnerable boaters onto the towpath. It was stated that a welfare officer would be in place to render a level of support when evicting vulnerable boaters onto the towpath.

A further exemplar demonstrates what a wonderful place the inland waterways are. Sustrans says that cars make the roads too dangerous for cyclists, Whilst cyclist in turn make the pavement too dangerous for pedestrians. Not wanting to be left out of this two wheeled arms race, the Cycling and River Trust are now making the towpath too dangerous for walkers, boaters, joggers and fishermen.

Now, its the 48 hour mooring fiasco. First Richard Parry assures NABO that there will be no more changes made without consultations. Then thick and fast come in the reports that 14 day moorings are being changed to 48 hour moorings almost everywhere. A man and his word is as good as .... as.... bugger all apparently.

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