BRITISH Waterways has ceased to exist in England and Wales and in its place Canal & River Trust (CART) has at last been created to care for the waterways.
However, there seems to have been little of the promised wide celebration of the changeover to CART, with no notification found of any of the proposed celebrations that were supposed to take place on Monday, the date of the changeover. We have been told however that there will be a 'cut-down' celebration on the 12th July.
Little to celebrate
The massive boat rally in Birmingham did not take place, notwithstanding the intimation that 'a full public launch of the charity, with a number of regional celebrations will take place on the same date'. But as many writers in narrowboatworld have suggested—there is little to celebrate.
We understand that the flags and buntings purchased for £23,720 will be given away, though CART will not confirm this.
The Trust retains a number of British Waterways' directors including chief executive Robin Evans. The charity has a trustee board of ten members, led by chairman Tony Hales. It also has a Council of 35 elected and nominated members.
It has seven different advisory boards providing advice on matters such as volunteering and the environment. There are just four representing boaters out of the 150 plus people, the four being hijacked by the Inland Waterways Association.
Though boaters provide the most money next to the government, in fact many millions, there is not a single one as an independent representative, leaving the boating community with little faith in the new charity.
In Scotland British Waterways continues to exist, but now under the name of Scottish Canals.