Tuesday, 14 June 2011

At least some people in BW take maintenance seriously

I frequently have a go at BW over maintenance so it's nice to report something positive. Site meeting last week where defective lights were pointed out: All checked and repaired within a week. Thanks are due to BW's London's Laura Raine. As ever the front line staff are doing well in spite of the idiots they have to work for!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Poor omen for BW's volunteering aspirations

A beautiful juxtaposition has come to light - we have two volunteering events organised on the same day in West London next weekend. British Waterways invited me through a direct mailing list to take part in a locally organised Towpath Tidy at Kensal Green next weekend, 18th June. I offered my services copying the e-mail to my contact at Thames 21 one who already organise similar event across London Waterways. The response from Thames 21 was "What’s the, Kensal Green event?"

It turns out BW has seemingly not spoken to Thames 21 to seek their support in engaging existing Canalkeeper volunteers like me.

Even better if BW had checked the date with Thames21 in advance they might have realised as I now do that there is already a pre-organised clean up event at Hanwell Locks (see June 18th entry) organised by Thames 21 on the same day. This doesn't fill me full of confidence about BW's proposals to seek more input from volunteers when they can't coordinate with existing resources?

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Why I don't feel like a valued customer

The current DEFRA consultation on the future structure of BW closes at the ended of the month and I have been reviewing lots of my file records over the past few days both in connection with that and my more more personal ongoing 'discussions' with BW and others about the better management of the Houseboat Certificate Scheme. I also started a thread on a waterways forum to see if I could get some views on one aspect of the ongoing question of how BW proposes better managing visitor moorings.

The common thread in all this is the reflection that these and many other boating related issues have been debated yet remain unresolved over many years. Maybe I'm just getting too bitter and twisted but it strikes me that in a variety of ways, this amounts to solid evidence of BW's continuing failure to achieve what we are supposed in management speak to call "positive outcomes".

Thursday, 9 June 2011

The continuing joke of BW moorings maintenance

In December the Ombudsman made a ruling against BW in connection with one of my neighbours' wider complaint about maintenance on our mooring. 6 months later one of the repairs she recomended  be undertaken has still not been carried out!

A notional prize* will be awarded for anyone who can guess what this sign is supposed to say or do?

It seem BW's moorings service has declined so far that they can't even afford to carry out Ombudsman recommendations?

(* PS - the answer to the 'competition' is now available here.)

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Welcome to the parish of Smoke on the Water

Simon Satan spokesman for the Smoke on the Water Parish Council in the county of Glossitover was interviewed on local radio in the last week about the Parish Councillors' radical new approach to parking management.

"We have decided we don't like the look of some of the people who park in our village and so we have resolved to make the whole village out with yellow lines.

A little bit of Thames boating

The relative silence for a few weeks can in part be excused by what we in NABO Council call "always a valid excuse for not...": I've been away boating! Just been with my friend crewing his Dutch Barge from Goring on the Thames back to London. It's good to remember that despite all the blustering here, getting out on the waterways in a boat is ultimately what makes sense of it all.