Don’t forget the reorganisation

June 2018 - Boaters very vocal criticism of C&RT’s re-branding over the last month has rather overshadowed the parallel reorganisation that is taking place. Indeed, there has been little comment on the shedding of senior managers, downgrading of jobs, the reduction in Waterways Regions and the change from Waterways Partnerships to Waterways Advisory Boards. Allan Richards takes a look at C&RT’s reversal of its centralisation policy of just a few years ago.

First up, a bit of recent history. In mid 2017 we reported that Sophie Castell, the £125,000 per year director responsible for fund-raising, had suddenly left C&RT after just over a year in the role.

Although an advertisement was placed, a new director was never appointed. C&RT’s nine directors had become eight. In November 2017 we reported that another director, Ian Rodgers, had gone, making it seven. We also reported that two of C&RT’s Waterways Managers were also leaving.

In December, the Trust announced that it was to undertake a reorganisation reducing its ten waterways to six and de-centralise its national teams. It also promised ‘a significant reduction in the size of its senior management team’ (i.e. those paid over £60,000 a year). Of note was that the reorganisation was to be carried out by Julie Sharman as part of her new role as Chief Operating Officer and Mike Goodie, People Director.

If we have a look at the senior management team, C&RT’s 2016/17 Annual Report already shows that the number of £60,000+ earners had dropped from 89 to 79 over a twelve month period. At the Council meeting in March, delegates were told that the number of posts would be reduced to 60 with only 27 being ‘senior’.

A leaked internal communication names senior managers leaving the Trust. ​

Already left -

- Ed Fox, Head of Communications, who was recruited when the Trust started almost six years ago. Mr Fox’s department was 19 strong with a budget of over £1m. He was responsible for media relations, campaigns, corporate communications, filming, arts and parliamentary and public affairs. Left 30 April.
- Nigel Joyce, Operational Property Manager after 20 years service with BW/C&RT. Left 31 May.
- Simon Currass, Estate Manager, after almost 18 years service. Left 31 May.
- Ian Easby, sometime Waterway Manager for North Wales and Borders. Service unknown. Left 31 May.
- Nick Worthington, Waterways Manager, South Wales and Severn after 19 years of service. Left 31 May.

Leaving this month -

- Jon Guest, London Waterway Manager, after 33 years service. Will leave June 30.
- Tony Stammers, Head of Health and Safety, after 13 years service. Will leave June 30
- Nigel Crowe, National Heritage manager, after 30 years service. Will leave June 30.
- Ian Jarvis, Financial Controller, after nine years service, Will leave June 30.
- Paul Ashwell, Finance Manager, after 13 years service. Will leave June 30.
- Angela Everitt, Finance Manager, after 13 years service. Will leave June 30.
- Mick Crowder, Head of Shared Services, after 21 years service. Will leave June
- Mark Stephens, Programme Director, Unlocking the Severn. Will leave June 30.
- Richard Longton, Head of Programme & Project Management, after 18 years. Will leave June 30.

Leaving July -

- Andrew Stumpf, Head of Wales, after 41 years, Will leave 20 July.

It remains to be see what the effect of these 15 leavers, together with previous leavers and the downgrading of jobs will have on C&RT’s £65m per year salary bill. Inevitably, short term savings will be offset by severance costs and recruitment of Regional Directors.

It has to said that, in general terms, the reorganisation is not going well due to lack of synchronisation between leavers and starters. C&RT has managed to recruit four Regional Directors but they will not start until July or August. One vacancy is currently unfilled and another filled internally. As such the new structure went live on June 4 with just one Regional Director, four Acting Regional Director and an Interim Regional Director.

Worse still, despite running down its Waterways Partnerships in favour of Regional Advisory Boards and advertising in the Sunday Times in January, C&RT has gone live with its new 'super regions’ having failed to appoint a single new chair.

It is C&RT’s board of Trustees that appoint Waterway Partnership/Advisory Board Chairs and also directors. Ten regions equals ten Regional Managers and ten Waterway Partnership Chairs. Of these 20 people, the board has found just one suitable within its own ranks.

No doubt this shambles of a reorganisation will be deemed to be a success marking the second phase of C&RT’s development as a charity. This will allow Richard Parry to leave with some dignity having seen his centralisation policies dismantled by Julie Sharman and Mike Goodie.

Photos: (1st) Andrew Stump, Head of Wales, 41 years service, (2nd) Ed Fox, National Communications Manager, first to leave, (3rd) Julie Sharman - masterminding reorganisation, (4th) Mike Goodie - reducing senior managers, (5th) Nick Worthington - another waterway manager to leave, (6th) Number of staff paid over £60,000 has dropped, (7th) Richard Parry - his centralisation policy is being reversed.

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