CRT spending £500k to reduce our numbers

CRT is currently recruiting seven new staff whose main purpose will be to persuade boat dwellers without home moorings to accept “new policies”; making sure that CRT’s “messages are accurately understood by social and print media as well as all those affected by changes ” and “helping to develop understanding of the legal framework within which we exercise our responsibilities as navigation authority”. Seven posts have been advertised; these are three Community Participation Managers and three Towpath Mooring Control Managers for London, the South and the North, plus an Administrator. The total cost is around £500,000.

According to an article by Damian Kemp in CRT’s March Boaters’ Update, the purpose of these new posts includes “reducing the number of new boaters coming onto the network without a home mooring and intending to remain predominantly within a limited area without genuinely continuously cruising”; “addressing misuse of short term towpath moorings”; “tackling non-compliant continuous cruising” and “legitimising the cruising pattern of established non-compliant continuous cruisers unable to follow the mooring guidance”. We already know that the first aim will put people in an impossible position of having to choose between keeping their home or keeping their job, their children’s places at school and their access to health care. We also have learnt from experience that the rest of these aims amounts to no more than demanding money with menaces, pressurising boaters to pay for moorings where there is no legal requirement for them to do so.

The problem is, CRT’s interpretation of what it means to comply with s.17 3 c ii is at odds with what Parliament intended when it drafted the 1995 British Waterways Act. This means that CRT will be wasting half a million pounds trying to persuade boaters without home moorings to comply with an interpretation of the law that sets movement requirements that are beyond what the 1995 Act requires of them, money that could be better used fixing lock gates and dredging. Boaters won’t comply with “rules” that they know are unlawful, so half a million that could be spent on repairs and maintenance will go down the plughole, at a time when money has never been tighter and CRT has not reached its target for charitable donations. These new staff will have the impossible task of trying to solve a “problem” that doesn’t exist in most parts of the waterways and where it does exist, there are already enforcement powers to deal with it that CRT is not prepared to use because enforcing the 14-day rule doesn’t produce an income. Given the high turnover of  enforcement staff, we wonder how long the incumbents of these new posts will last.

Do they really think that this is going to work? The only way it will work is by bullying, targeting of the most vulnerable, and threats of craning people’s boats out to persuade them to pay for moorings, “roving mooring permits” or “community mooring permits” they don’t want and don’t legally need. However, none of these methods is actually in the job descriptions of the new staff. You can read the advertised descriptions below. The full job descriptions and person specifications are of course obtainable via Freedom of Information if anyone is interested.

You can read Damian Kemp’s description of the new posts here http://canalrivertrust.org.uk/news-and-views/features/boaters-update

Some of the posts are still being advertised. See https://www.britishwaterways.candidata.co.uk/search.aspx

See also our article “Generic solutions or final solutions?” http://kanda.boatingcommunity.org.uk/wordpress/generic-solutions-or-final-solutions-our-analysis-of-crts-briefing-paper-on-non-compliant-continuous-cruising/

Senior Community Partnership Manager (London, £39000 – £45000 pa)

This national charity is recruiting an experienced Senior Community Partnership Manager with community engagement experience to build lasting relationships with a variety of unique water-born groups throughout the London region. The successful candidate will have previous experience within community and stakeholder liaison.

Main responsibilities include:
* Research, develop and implement new policies
* Build positive relationships across a range of unique water-born user groups and external stakeholders
* Develop social enterprise initiatives to help improve services and meet needs of the Trusts users

Essential criteria include:
* Educated to degree level (ideally with relevant
* First-hand experience of achieving successful collaboration with partners
* Proven conflict resolution skills
* Extensive experience in Programme planning and budgeting
* Extensive experience working strategically with external partners

Community Partnership Manager (Bristol and Northwich, £32000 – £37000 pa)

This national charity is recruiting an experienced Community Partnership Manager to build lasting relationships with a variety of unique water-borne groups throughout the Southern region. The successful candidate will have previous experience within community and stakeholder liaison.

Main responsibilities include:
*Build positive relationships across a range of unique water-borne user groups and external stakeholders
*Work with stakeholders to develop local codes of conduct within national policy framework
*Develop social enterprise initiatives to help improve services and meet needs of the Trust’s users

Essential criteria include:
* Educated to degree level (ideally with relevant)
* First-hand experience of achieving successful collaboration with partners
* Proven conflict resolution skills
* Extensive experience in Programme planning and budgeting
* Extensive experience working strategically with external partners

Towpath Mooring Control Manager (London, 34,800 pa)

The Role

The foundation of the new Canal & River Trust has created the opportunity to make progress with resolving challenging issues around boating in London and the capacity of the waterways to accommodate diverse needs.  Trustees consider it timely to address resource management and conflict issues that have developed on London’s waterways in recent years.  Waterways belong to us all and we are keen to start to shift its culture towards one of building shared responsibility for the care and development of the waterways with those who use them the most.   Such a culture shift will entail bringing about a significant rethink in how we plan, communicate and do business as well as in how those living on and making use of waterways engage both with each other and with the Trust.

The purpose of the job is to:

Build positive relationships with waterway users (particularly boaters) in London and work with their representatives to develop and implement a plan for towpath mooring management that fairly balances the needs of all users: a relationship and understanding exercise for the Trust as well as the wider boating and user community.
Give appropriate support to developing social enterprise initiatives that hold good prospects of containing waterway operations costs while improving their quality.
To support and gain wider ownership of the vision of a vibrant waterway, well served and well connected, with everyone getting on well.

Your day to day tasks will include:

Communicating

Ensuring the Trust’s messages are accurately understood by social and print media as well as all those affected by changes
Improving understanding within the Trust of the ways that best engage waterways users
Helping to develop understanding of the legal framework within which we exercise our responsibilities as navigation authority and the processes that stem from this
Networking with waterway users of all types to develop consensus on priorities for improving the waterway
Creating opportunities for boaters to contribute to development of a practical plan to achieve:
A meeting of minds: Better engagement and respect between users and between the Trust and users. A sense of the waterway as a community of neighbourhoods.
Improved stakeholder perceptions of boating and boaters.
Fair sharing: Agreed understanding of what ‘capacity’ means and fair sharing of desirable space between users and uses, leading to an improvement in mooring numbers, quality and choice for visitor, leisure and residential moorings.
Social enterprise: Explore and develop jointly with waterway users new, innovative and sustainable approaches to improving facilities, meet needs and improve the river corridor
Overall cost reduction: Net reduction in the Trust’s operating costs with reinvestment of the surplus into the project objectives and/or the Trust’s other charitable objects.
Coordinating the development of a mooring plan for the waterway comprising a mix of long term and short term measures
Liaising with the Trust’s waterway management, enforcement and enterprise teams to implement change and new investment.
Specific success measures will be influenced through the stakeholder engagement process but we expect to include
Agreement on the waterway’s capacity to accommodate long term moored boats and visiting traffic
Provisions in place to legitimise through new permit arrangements those who have already established their home along the towpath albeit in breach of rules
Reduction in complaints from local residents and increased satisfaction amongst boaters
Visitor mooring signage refreshed at busiest/most difficult sites with greater compliance with time limits
Pilot social enterprises developed by boaters up and running and benefiting the waterway.  One of these ideally operating new affordable moorings, possibly under a lease with the Trust.

You will be educated to degree level, ideally with the relevant professional qualification.  First hand understanding of how to achieve successful collaboration with partners and understanding and/or experience of boating on our waterway network would be an advantage.

Skills and experience required are:

Conflict resolution skills incl. empathy and lateral thinking
Programme planning, budgeting, working strategically with external partners.
Experience from the social housing sector and/or resource management may be an advantage.
Strong thinker with ability and confidence to make decisions in a changing and uncertain environment
Excellent written communication skills for producing reports and briefings

Towpath Mooring Control Manager (South – Milton Keynes, Devizes, Gloucester or London, North – Northwich, Fazeley or Hatton, £28,100pa, three year contract)

The growing popularity of the waterways for boating is generating pressure for improved control of casual mooring along the towpath and a new team is being established to review and update local towpath mooring rules within the framework of national policy and to promote compliance with mooring rules.

The Towpath Mooring Control Manager South will be responsible for our South East, Kennet & Avon, South Wales & Severn and Central Shires waterways.
The Towpath Mooring Control Manager North will cover our Northern, North Wales & Borders and Midlands waterways.

The purpose of the job is:

To build positive relationships with waterway users, developing good consultative arrangements for carrying out local reviews of mooring control issues
To liaise with our local Waterway Partnership body and to take a steer on local priorities for improving mooring control, applying our national policy framework.
To lead and manage reviews of local mooring rules, working with boater and other user representatives and volunteers to create sensible and workable proposals for consultation
To work with colleagues locally and nationally to implement the new rules arising from the consultations

Your day to day tasks include:

Engaging with boater representatives and Trust colleagues to gain excellent understanding of local issues and priorities.
Using this knowledge to develop performance measures and draft local plans covering visitor mooring maximum stay times, movement requirements for continuous cruisers and where necessary, development of local mooring permits.
Examples of performance measures are boater satisfaction measures (from surveys), compliance statistics from our enforcement team, tone of feedback in waterways press and social networks
Preparing and publishing consultation documents and organising the review of feedback with input from volunteers
Managing the implementation of local plans.
Communicating – ensuring the Trust’s policies and plans are accurately understood by social and print media

You will be educated to degree level, ideally with relevant professional qualification. First hand understanding of how to achieve successful collaboration with partners and have an understanding and/or experience of boating on our waterway network would be an advantage.

You will have experience of programme planning, budgeting, working strategically with external partners.  Experience from the social housing sector and/or resource management may be an advantage, be a strong thinker with ability and confidence to make decisions in a changing and uncertain environment and have excellent written communication skills for producing reports and briefings.

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One Response to “CRT spending £500k to reduce our numbers”

  1. Panda MonsterID Icon Panda says:

    Why don’t they just say it honestly and advertise for Pest Control Officers?

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