Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Book Barge row - missing the point?

It's interesting how the media furore around the 'book barge', Word on the Water, has developed. On social media and elsewhere there is much about the 'unfairness' of a higher bidder getting the long term mooring in Paddington. Make of that what you will but given the background to my recent petition to CRT, and the way the allocation of CRT moorings is decided generally, the outcome in this case should come as no big surprise.

Narrowboatworld, never a gentle critic of CRT, acknowledges in its article that the boat has a roving trading permit (clue in the name) and that the current occupation of a berth in Paddington was a temporary arrangement. So it seems inevitable to me that CRT would ask Word on the Water to move on if they didn't make the highest bid.

However more worryingly many of those complaining seem to me to have missed the bigger point. The idea of having a commercial mooring or two in the Paddington area was consulted on with local canal users through the Better Relationships Group (BRG) and CRT have as usual ignored what was said in the consultation process and gone another way.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Petition sent to Canal and River Trust trustees

Just to say thanks to those who have signed the petition so far; As I said to supporters through 38 degrees,  

I am planning to leave the petition open at least until CRT issues its response, so if you have friends or contacts who you think have not signed yet and who would still offer their support please encourage them to do so even though the formal consultation period is over. Any additional pressure we can keep on them to think again in advance of them deciding what to do next must be a good thing.

I have just sent the petition with 442 signatures to CRT with the covering letter reproduced below.

Given what they have said so far and given their general track record when it comes to acting on what boating customers say, I will not hold my breathe about them changing their minds. CRT knows best children.

PS. Spell check just offered the following option for the first time: Cabal and River Trust. I know Google is quite smart at discrening user preferences and learning stuff about you but....!