David Fletcher, NABO Chairman writes:
I attended a meeting last week in Westminster where BW formally launched the 2020 vision to MPs and DEFRA.
Other user and trade groups were there too. 2020 is described on the BW web site at the link below and it’s quite readable so I won’t try to describe it.
BW are sending out a message that the current arrangements of part commercial, part grant funding from DEFRA are not working. I understand from the sideline comments, that there is considerable frustration with the political influences and uncertainties of the current reduced grant funding arrangement. The recent Treasury investigation of the property portfolio may well have driven BW to a point that they need to look for something new for the long term.
Whether the so called Third Sector, that is not nationalised (as now), and not private (sold off) is the right thing, who knows? There will be pluses and minuses. We will be looking for advice, and no doubt talking with other user groups to get aligned. We have time for this as what is announced now is the start of consultation, not a final solution. If you have experience in the Third Sector like the National Trust, or Community Interest Companies, can you provide advice to Council?
There is a video clip on the BW web site. Quite a lot is bla bla but there is a bit in the middle with Robin Evans talking and that is worth listening too to get a view on what he is saying.
I heard him speak at BWAF a couple of weeks ago and the content is clearly part of the prepared story that is to be rolled out in the BW presentations around the country in the coming months by directors like Vince Moran and Simon Salem. Please do go and hear them, tell them and us what you are thinking. They were at Crick at the weekend, but I was not there on the right day. Other dates are in NABO News.
For more details see: http://www.britishwaterways.co.uk/twentytwenty