Saturday, 1 October 2011

London Mushrooms

You would not know that there is a local User Group meeting in London next week from the British Waterways website if you look today. I noticed this point while looking into something in advance of the meeting. So much to involvement and openness if one of the supposed few public lines of accountability into BW is not being publicly advertised. Given that BW may shortly correct this omission I have taken a copy...* As you can see: no mention that I can find that there is an upcoming meeting.

For those who might be interested the meeting is due to be held on Weds 05 October at the Pirate Club in Camden at 7 pm.

This is an old bugbear of mine. I remember a number of years ago that User Group Meeting were so closed that they were by invite only. The absence of a public notice on the main BW website suggests that this may be happening again.

I remember having an amusing public exchange with a then London Director of BW when challenged by him during the meeting as to how and why I was at the first User group meeting I attended. I recall with amusement his consternation when I pointed out that,

1 - I was a paying BW moorings customer and surely that alone should allow me to participate?
2 - The Chairman of BW had in the course of a complaint invited me to attend future meetings in writing. Obviously he had not communicated that he had made this invitation to the Director who was questioning my attendance.

It gives me little confidence in the openness and accountability of the New Waterways Charity when routine meetings like this are seemingly still treated as a closed shop.

Now I am sure that BW will just say this is an unfortunate omission and maybe so. But it shows a basic lack of care and attention to the small details and information sharing which are so important to the individual user and even more important if BW is to convince sceptics like me that that they really want to be open and accountable.

(West Country mushrooms available here)

(* My copy of the BW page has been placed on a separate page for now as the image seems to effect my home page adversely - if can work out a fix I'll amend this article later...)

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