Sunday, 25 October 2009

BW’s Head of Boating expresses lack of confidence in BW Patrol Staff and the potential of using Volunteer Wardens for patrol purposes

It appears senior BW staff do not have confidence in the capability of their own patrol staff to do their jobs. Rather than providing better training and support to their own staff it seems BW would like to contract out some of their more challenging patrol duties.

Minutes of a meeting in August between BW officers and Parish and District Councillors from the south end of the Kennet and Avon Canal have recently been published following a Freedom of Information request and report that:

Sally Ash <> has been charged by Simon Salem (BW’s Marketing and Customer Service Director) to work with Bathampton & Calverton (the parish councils) representatives to develop a trial package of mooring zones and enforcement procedures.

Further on in the notes of the meeting it is reported that.

A lengthy discussion took place on the question of a local ‘volunteer scheme’.

Sally Ash on behalf of BW, stated that after consultation with their ‘volunteer management group’, BW was very concerned about using volunteers in any kind of enforcement role. They saw potential problems from antagonistic boaters and would prefer to operate through a local ‘agent’ who could be given the appropriate power and BW backing. This agent would also have the power to impose fines and collect daily/monthly mooring charges.

Sally asked if BANES might make available part of its parking enforcement team on a contract hire basis. <> said that he ruled this out completely as BANES (Bath and North East Somerset Council) had no spare capacity for this kind of work.

How about giving “the appropriate power and BW backing” to your own staff first BW, instead of making undermining comments about their capabilities to local elected members?

(This post also appeared on Narrowboatworld on 07 October 09)

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