David Fletcher, Chairman, writes:
In 2009, BW announced an organisational restructuring to reduce costs. This is separate from 2020, though it is published at the same time.
The basis is that some of the nationally driven activities should be pulled together to archive manpower savings and get better consistency.
The stronger Regional Units (promoted by Robin Evans some years ago) have led to duplication and lack of control of expenditure. So responsibility for activities like commercial, property, regeneration, accountancy will be taken from the units. They are left to deal with the day to day issues of the steady state operation / maintenance and user interfaces. The number of units goes up, because they want the units to be based on logical waterways where there are efficient maintenance depots, and as far as possible self sufficiency for water supply.
The proposals are subject to union consultations, so they are not final. There is a BW document issued for staff briefing that describes the proposals and this will go on the NABO web site for you to look at.
If this takes out overhead cost, and improves user interfaces, then that is all to the good. I asked DEFRA staff if they intended to reduce the grant if BW saved money. They said that that was not the intention, but they couldn’t rule out political interference in the current financial climate.
Back to the need for the 2020 consultation?