DEFRA Funding 11th July

The following is taken from the Government website, ‘Report on review of the grant agreement between Defra and the Canal & River Trust’

From the review, we have concluded that the C&RT grant has so far demonstrated value for money and future government funding will continue to deliver significant public benefits. However, consistent with the policy intention when C&RT was created, we should go further in moving them into a position of reduced reliance on government funding.

Therefore, subject to certain conditions being met, Defra will provide over £400 million of ongoing funding for the C&RT from 2027 to 2037. This consists of a fixed grant funding commitment which embeds a 5% a year downward taper over 10 years (starting from £50.0 million and ending at £31.5 million in nominal terms).

Current funding is £52.6 million.

Last night CRT sent out an email to boat owners #KeepCanalsAlive : We need your voice today

Today the Government has announced a new funding settlement, spanning from 2027 to 2037, to follow on from our current grant agreement. Whilst we welcome this further long-term commitment to the nation’s historic waterways, the amount awarded represents a steep reduction in funding of over £300 million in real terms over a ten-year period. A reduction that will have devastating consequences.

Such a drastic decrease will inevitably result in a decline in the overall condition of our waterway network, and, alarmingly, the possibility of canal closures. It puts at risk invaluable natural habitats, historic infrastructure and cherished public spaces.

They are urging canal users to write to their MP and tell them how much we care about the canals and why they need to be funded properly. To urge the Government to reconsider their decision and protect our waterways for the future. Link here for CRT’s suggested letter. Sadly we know our MP will not be interested as he has no waterways in his constituency along with being demob happy, he was pretty useless when we emailed him regarding boats and red diesel a few years ago.

The IWA has issued a statement found here. They are running a campaign Protect Our Waterways It is also a founding member of Fund Britains Waterways a coalition of organisations representing hundreds of thousands of users and supporters of inland waterways.

There is a Campaign Cruise planned for Birmingham in August details to join here and I suspect there will be more cruises organised to raise awareness, the Trent Link group are considering one to Lincoln.

If we can I suspect we will join a cruise somewhere.

One thought on “DEFRA Funding 11th July

  1. Dave (scouts)

    I suppose we should be grateful there is some funding as it could have been none at all.
    As Mick knows from his GPO days preventative maintenance saves money long term since fixing things when they break often at inconvenient times is expensive. Sadly I suspect maintenance will be cut back even further and we’ll see closures when unmaintained structures fail.
    Not sure how CRT will deal with mandated upgrades like those to reservoirs.
    Volunteers can only do so much due to h&s not allowing us to operate machinery and in any case why should we.
    Maybe some of the extras that aren’t directly involved with navigation will need to go (scrap towpath tarmacing)
    First thing I’d do is see what activities run at a profit and retain them, then look at the rest. If not essential for navigation or preventative maintenance then they would be up for review.
    I can see a need for a slimmed down CRT unless they can raise funds elsewhere.
    Paddy our CRT volunteer organizer was talking about trialling a new way of working similar to the old lengthsman system. A group of 3-4 CRT and possibly volunteers would walk a stretch of canal and have tools to fixmost faults found, only reporting those that they can’t handle. He thought more faults would get fixed and it would be cheaper
    I also wonder if CRT have factored in expansion of the network as surely in next ten yours some of the restorations will hopefully complete and open.

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