Here are feature articles by London Boaters. Members may comment on matters presented here.

* The Floater online publication has closed *

Written by boaters for boaters, The Floater has for now closed and the website will vanish in January 2019. To preserve her extremely well researched articles and blog posts for the benefit of the waterways historical record, we feel priviliged to repost these articles here on londonboaters.org

Enough, no more

November 2018 - It has been almost eight years since David Cameron decided to get our national waterways off the government’s book by handing it over to a pseudo charity in what was meant to be the start of a mass handover of services the Tory government couldn’t sell off to private profiteers.

How much?

November 2018 - Canal & River Trust's Boaters' Update 27 July 2018 starts 'Welcome to the latest, bumper, edition. There's something for everyone; read about our positive Annual Report (we've spent more this year than ever before - £132m - on maintenance) ...'

However, although Boaters Update suggested the figure of £132 came from the 2017/18 Annual Report, boaters are having great difficulty finding where in the Annual Report it actually says this and how this figure is broken down.

Price hike confirmed as jobs put at risk

November 2018 - Hard on the heels of confirming that boaters will see their prompt payment discount halved from next April and that it is going ahead with hikes in licence fees the following year, including charging more for boats wider than seven feet, Canal & River Trust has also announced that 200 staff are now formally at risk of redundancy in the run-up to Christmas, reports Peter Underwood

The shape of things to come

November 2018 - It has come to our attention that The Floater has become boring and old fashioned by failing to embrace the current trend for ‘fake news’ so our occasional correspondent Brian Jarrett has been listening at the third floor window in C&RT towers and brings us the latest updates on the big move from navigation authority to public entertainer.

Marinas - Going, going, gone?

October 2018 - In the past week or two Canal& River Trust’s response to questions about whether it has sold BWML and its 18 marinas has changed from ‘We’ll tell you when it happens’ to ‘all I can say is we are in final discussions with a preferred bidder and an announcement about the disposal will be made in due course’.

Priorities

October 2018 - It has become normal for Canal & River Trust to use it’s winter stoppage programme as a public relations opportunity and the press release kicking this off has just gone out – to be followed up with lock open days and more press releases, writes Alec Wood.

This year’s is interesting as it is the first since the Trust switched from being a navigation centred organisation to one focused on the amorphous concept of ‘wellbeing’ for all in a desperate, and possibly doomed, attempt to persuade am austerity obsessed government to part with more cash.

C&RT refuses to produce reports on Middlewich breach

October 2018 - Boaters have long had serious doubts about the Canal & River Trust explanation of the cause of the Middlewich Breach early this year, but when one of them asked for the reports to substantiate its claim that it was caused by paddles left up on the lock above the breach site the charity – recently given an award for openness – reiterated its claims but refused to supply the documents.

C&RT’s award for ‘Openness’ explored

October 2018 - It has been a week since the Canal & River Trust proudly announced it had ‘won the award in the charity category for Openness in Reporting at the Building Public Trust in Corporate Reporting Awards 2018’

To be honest, being told that C&RT was an organisation ‘leading the way in the openness of their communications to stakeholders’ took The Floater a little by surprise.

Does C&RT board know the real number of emergency closures?

October 2018 -
In September The Floater disputed a claim made in Canal & River Trust's annual report, presented to the public a few days ago, regarding unscheduled closures of its waterways. Now we have further evidence that unscheduled closures are rising - not falling as the report suggests.

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