CRT has announced today that its Chief Executive, Robin Evans, is to resign in May this year. This follows the voluntary redundancy of Technical Director Jim Stirling and the announcement last year that Nigel Johnson, Legal/ Corporate Services Director and Company Secretary, will retire in late 2014 and that his post will not be replaced. Two CRT Trustees have also resigned recently; Maria Cassoni and Nigel Hugill.
There is much speculation about why Evans has decided to resign this year when according to documents held by Companies House, he will be 60 in 2014. He was appointed Chief Executive in 2002, having been Commercial Director since 1999; also in 2002 Sally Ash was promoted to Head of Boating Development (like Evans, she is a graduate of Reading University). Around the same time Nigel Johnson was appointed and there was a significant change in the composition of the BW Board. These developments co-incided with the start of BW’s moves to restrict the rights of licence holders to use BW/ CRT waterways without a home mooring. It is too early to assume that there is a financial problem lurking ahead that Evans has sidestepped, but time will tell how viable the transfer of BW to a charity has been.
Robin Evans currently holds nine company directorships, most of which have some connection with BW/ CRT, apart from a company called W.H. Clayton (Lands) Limited which has its registered address at his home in Prestwood, Buckinghamshire.
Here is the text of the Press Release from CRT:
“After ten years as chief executive of British Waterways and (since July 2012) the Canal & River Trust, Robin Evans has decided to step down at the end of May 2013. Robin said: “I want to pursue other interests and opportunities and now the Trust is firmly established I feel it’s the right time for me to move on and a perfect time for the Trust to have a new leader.”
He added: “It has been a privilege to lead these two great organisations and I am very proud of what we have achieved over the past ten years. Having agreed the transfer of the waterways into the Third Sector together with £500m of endowment property and a 15 year funding agreement from government, the Trust is on a more secure financial footing with a more positive outlook than we’ve probably ever had. I will always be grateful for the encouragement and support of a great many people both inside and outside of the Trust who have helped lay what I believe are the foundations for a strong and vibrant future for our much loved waterways.”
Tony Hales, chair of the Canal & River Trust, said: “Robin told us in November that he intended to step down in May and we will be very sorry to lose him. He has served with great dedication and inspirational vision. His determination to see that vision realised in the foundation of the Trust, has transformed the long term prospects for the waterways. The former Board of British Waterways and the current Trustees wish him well and thank him for his outstanding contribution to the canals and rivers we all love.”
The Trustees will now begin the search for a new chief executive and more details will be announced shortly. Tony Hales has been asked by Trustees to stay on as chair to help ensure a smooth transition and he has kindly agreed to do so.”