Monday, 1 August 2011

What it will cost us to eradicate the parasites

Like many others I am picking over the latest British Waterways annual report. One thing I have spotted is a new section in the Directors Remuneration Report (pp 48 ff) setting out the notice periods that the current Directors are entitled to. The short answer is that if BW or its successor want to get rid of a director they potentially get a years salary!

I would like to think that this is writing on the wall for some BW Directors?!

I have long held that the sooner that an enforced restructuring of BW Directors takes place the better. They are sitting smugly overpaid  at the top of a failing organisation yet still got bonuses and salary increases and fat increases in the value of their pension pots last year while they continued making front line staff redundant.

I could rant and rant except I don't believe that Richard Benyon, Waterways Minister or anyone in DEFRA is listening or has yet really yet understood the feeling among many boaters about the inappropriateness of this gravy train. (One suspects, this is also a view held by many junior BW staff).

Boaters already pay fees to BW that increase way beyond inflation year by year. What do we get? We see a BW which is largely failing to serve its customers day to day and and continuing to loose money on ill advised speculative commercial activities. Yet the Directors still get paid handsomely for presiding over a decaying service. Bankers!

If BW and DEFRA think that boaters are going to rush out to fully support the New Waterways Charity with time and money when we are already being ripped off in this way, then they are completely out of touch with reality. If they think they can sell all this to the great British public as a way forward, without people noticing the travesty of BW Directors' pay, I hope they carefully read the responses to the recent consultation. It might then just start dawning that there is something very rotten at the heart of the current BW.

An NWC with the same incumbents in place is just not credible. It looks like it's is just a preservation exercise for the fat cats while government tries to wash it's hand of the whole lot of them.

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