Canal & River Trust’s (CRT) review of boat licensing and the proposed publication of “illustrative cruising patterns” for Bargee Traveller families with school age children have been delayed for months due to internal disagreements, the National Bargee Travellers Association (NBTA) has discovered.
Ian Rogers, CRT’s Executive Head of Customer Service, told the NBTA in September that the publication of “illustrative cruising patterns” for boat dweller families without home moorings who have school age children was delayed because due to an inability to reach agreement on the outcome. The Waterways Ombudsman informed a complainant in February 2017 that “in the coming weeks” CRT intended to publish illustrative cruising patterns for boaters with school-aged children, based on actual patterns of other boaters in this position. Some eight months later, there is no sign of these being published.
Stage 3 of CRT’s review of boat licensing has also been delayed. This consultation was due to have been issued to all licence holders at the end of August 2017 and completed by the end of September. There is still no sign of it despite the publication on 24th August 2017 of the report of Stage 2 of the consultation.
Mr Rogers did not reveal which CRT staff or departments could not agree, but the minutes of the CRT Trustees’ meeting in May 2017 show on page 14 that there is no agreement within the Navigation Advisory Group as to what the review should result in, and also that both the publication of example cruising patterns for boaters with children in school and of CRT’s Equality Policy were due in June 2017.
As the Navigation Advisory Group has an advisory role, it is unlikely that its inability to agree on the desired result of the review of boat licensing is the chief cause of the delay. The long delays point to disagreement between senior CRT staff with decision-making power over these matters. Taken with the unexpected and unexplained resignation in February 2017 of former Head of Boating Mike Grimes after just 22 months in post, it appears that CRT is in disarray.
See http://www.bargee-traveller.org.uk/crt-still-drafting-illustrative-cruising-patterns-for-bargee-travellers-with-school-age-children-six-months-on/ and http://www.bargee-traveller.org.uk/canal-river-trust-to-publish-illustrative-cruising-patterns-for-bargee-travellers-with-school-age-children/ for more information about CRT’s intended example cruising patterns.
The minutes of CRT Trustees meeting on 24th May 2017 are here 33228-board-of-trustees-meeting-may-2017
The minutes of all CRT Trustees meetings can be found here https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/meetings
For information on the progress of the CRT review of boat licensing see https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/national-consultations
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