CRT South West Annual Public Meeting – Thursday 7th April

A not a very well-attended meeting with only some 24 folk present (including numerous CRT people) but still a useful and well-structured session. The Regional Director, Mark Evans, gave a slick summary of the past year and of course highlighted the difficulties caused by the storms etc. He also emphasised the significant amount of non-boater outreach activities which have been taking place.

Not surprising as this is clearly CRT’s current focus given the soon—to-be-held government review of waterway’s funding! This presentation left plenty of time for delegate input. Especially worrying was the concern by the volunteers at the famous and unique CRT-owned Claverton pumping station (water wheel driven) who do all the maintenance and system running but feel neglected by CRT with poor support. The NBTA Chair raised the usual complaints from live-aboard boaters and also the issues relating to the future of the Bridgewater Docks, which had been handed back to the local Council by CRT. Personally, I expressed the K&A Canal Trust’s concern about the apparent policy of only fixing paddles when both failed – as is being experienced (now for going-on 3 years!) at Dunmill lock on the K&A with serious issues for the public trip boats which have to over-run on promised trip timings. Mark promised to sort this out – we shall see!

Mike Rodd