Report not published by independent consultants

Published: Friday, 21 June 2024

LOOKING at the boat licence review consultation report published on Canal & River Trust's (CaRT) website one could be forgiven for thinking that the report was the work of 'independent consultants', DJS Research.

Not only does it have DJS branding on every page but it also bears the names of two DJS directors, Jenna Allen (Research Director) and Alex Belcher (Associate Director) as its authors. Furthermore it has DJS addresses, phone number and website details and authors email addresses on its first and last pages.

However, in a surprise admission, CaRT Legal & Governance Director, Tom Deards, now says that that the report was produced by CaRT 'of its own volition'.

Allan Richards provides the details:

No previous reports held

CaRT have twice maintained that previous DJS reports to that published on its website were not held. Faced with evidence that this was untrue, Deards fallback position was that CaRT held a 41 page draft report and 37 page final report.

An information request asked for

1. Any recorded information that supports the claim that the 41 page report is a draft report rather than the final report.

2. Any recorded information showing that DJS Research produced the 37 page report or agreed to changes made to the 41 page report.

Dodging the issue

Whilst Mr Deards has provided no response on part 1 of the request, he has provided a response to part 2 (albeit hidden via an associated request). Specifically, he says the report published on CaRT's website is 'A report produced by the Trust' and "I can confirm that the trust produced [the report] of its own volition."

No explanation

Whilst CRT now admits that is does hold previous reports to that published on its website, it fails to explain why it has published a consultation report that DJS research did not agree to as if it was the 'independents' consultants, report.

Below: Not the real authors