Friday, 14 March 2014

RIP Roving Mooring Permits?

I'm not sure how I should react to the news that CRT have backed off issuing Roving Mooring Permits. (The CRT press release is here as a Word .Docx file).

As a former NABO Council member I suppose I should at least be slightly pleased that our scepticism about the legality of the proposal has proved valid.

However I'm more relieved that unsuspecting boaters are now not going to be duped into parting with money for what I have personally highlighted as a highly dubious if not outright corrupt proposal.

It is deeply concerning that CRT's Sally Ash was allowed to try to sell this fatally flawed idea to people for the best part of two years before the penny dropped somewhere in CRT that this was not "legally sound", a warning which NABO and a few others such as the Bargee Travellers had been pointing out since the outset.

Those of us who doubted the wisdom of this proposal were as usual attacked and derided in public, told that we did not know what we were talking about and were just being the usual awkward squad, etc. So yes I am having a wry smile now and it is indeed tempting to rub certain CRT noses right in it. Fortunately there is no need for too much effort on this front because as has so often been the case, the Boating Management Team, (given the passage of time and faced with actually having to implement something) have made a very good job of making fools of themselves without much help from anyone else!

But CRT also need to realise that a number of people's lives have been seriously disrupted by the false hopes that were raised. Oh and of course we are back to square one. What happens to those people seeking RMP's now? Enforcement action to proceed as normal? Who exactly is entitled to the supposed 1 year amnesty and who is not?

Of course it might not really be RIP. There's a good chance that the whole thing will go away for re-branding and raise it's head in a new guise again in a few months. They are nothing if not persistent (or is that stubborn?)

CRT have of course succeeded in creating another centre of disaffection and mistrust among yet another group of boaters who originally tried to be sympathetic and supportive and who tried to work with CRT in good faith. Far from building better relationships, another group of boaters has been led down the consultation and engagement path only to be made false promises and end up being slapped in the face. One wonders how those boaters are feeling this week? Canalworld postings give some insight into the answer to that - looks like, pretty angry, to me.

Well I for one don't blame them. You now know why so many who have tried to work with the CRT/BW boating management simply do not trust them to play a straight game. It's easy to have a go at the 'established' representative organisations as ineffective when we don't seem to make much progress (and many have made such criticisms over the last eighteen months or so). Problem is as you have just seen, however hard you try, those in CRT responsible for boating consistently fail to tango. You are not the first or the last to be taken in by the PR and spin machine that has for the last decade and more been substituted for actually doing the job properly.

When it comes to consultation and engagement and progress around boating issues, CRT still stands for Cant Really Trust'em.

(Other brands are also available.)

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