HERE at Oxley we have had three days of continuous dry and often very sunny weather, plus it is heartening to see more boats moving on the canal.
In the yard we are now catching up on all those little outside jobs that have had to be postponed due to the weather and managing to sort out the grass and weeds!
Writing of sorting out the weeds brings me to thinking about the view that seems to growing that narrowboatworld contributors are only happy when ‘knocking' CART!
From a personal point of view, I strongly disagree, and having looked back over the past few weeks lead articles, have found little to support this although there have been several articles containing detrimental quotes from others outside the normal set of columnists.
My own view on CART is that it must succeed. We all should do our best to support the organisation but this does not preclude us from seeing and commenting on those aspects that detract from the fundamental task of CART which must be the operation and maintenance of the canals, rivers and associated infrastructure within the remit of the Trust.
Most of the boaters I meet and speak to agree that the infrastructure of our local canals has deteriorated over the past years. This has been a continual bone of contention with all boaters who have seen that their licence and mooring fees have risen exponentially whilst services, facilities and maintenance standards have appeared to be reduced at the same rate.
What I would dearly like to see is that this be acknowledged at the very top. I would like to see a commitment by CART that ‘spin' be a thing of the past and to ‘tell it like it really is'. I recall a comment by Phil here in the yard, which sums it up, in my mind—'Don't pee down my back and then tell me it's raining'!
Spreading limited funding
All supporters of our basically wonderful waterways want them to be enjoyed by as many people as possible but not at the expense of spreading limited funding into areas that have no beneficial effect, directly or indirectly, on the waterways themselves. I am certain if the true precarious nature of this 200 year old system was brought to the wider public, more support would be forthcoming and would not need a team of very highly paid ‘fund raisers', but that is a very personal view.
The publicised CART top management number and remuneration package reductions are a definite step in the right direction, and have been sought by many for some considerable time. Hopefully there will be an end to ‘silly' and meaningless statistics, that are unverifiable, and wasteful ‘enterprises'.
Let us see more dredged miles, re-opened sanitary stations and increased maintenance activity. I am sure narrowboatworld will give headline prominence to these achievements should they occur.