THE May Canal & River Trust (CART) update omits to tell that British Waterways directors are being rewarded for failure by becoming directors of a community interest company (CIC) set up as CART's trading subsidiary, writes Allan Richards.
Long term targets
Four British Waterway directors have been appointed to Canal & River Trading CIC, a private company limited by shares. Chief Executive Robin Evans' new appointment has been made despite his failure to meet any of his long term yearly targets to reduce dependence on government grant and double visitor numbers.
Also appointed a director of the new CIC is British Waterways Finance Director and BWML Director, Philip Ridal. Having convinced British Waterways' board to invest a further £4m in BWML last year so that it could 'expand by acquisition', Ridal is now having to explain why BWML is not making the returns he forecast.
Wrote off £33 millions
British Waterways' Property Director, Stuart Mills is also a director of the CIC, as is financial controller, Quentin Pickford.
Pickford was appointed as a director of of the Gloucester Quays joint venture in 2008 following the sudden departure of British Waterways' commercial director, James Froomberg. Under his stewardship, British Waterways wrote off its entire investment of £33 millions, and more recently withdrew from the partnership.
Pickford was also a director of the Wood Wharf joint venture which provided no return on British Waterways' £50 million investment for years on end, again with British Waterways withdrawing from the partnership.
The big question
The big question for the public is how much these four directorships are going to cost us and how many more will climb aboard this little gravy train. We were promised an announcement by British Waterways and CART chairman, Tony Hales, on directors' remuneration under CART well before the launch.
Unfortunately, his assurance has proved rather worthless!