Head of Boating search stalled?

March 2017 - By Peter Underwood

It seems the hunt for a replacement Head of Boating for the Canal & River Trust – following the surprise departure of Mike Grimes – scheduled for this Easter – may not be going as smoothly as hoped, reports Peter Underwood

The Trust has just announced it has appointed North East waterway manager Jon Horsfall as the charity’s interim head of boating.

He will start an immediate handover with Mike Grimes who leaves at Easter.

The announcement says Jon Horsfall will remain in the post throughout the ongoing review of licensing which is scheduled to last until the autumn.

Recruitment for a permanent head of boating will continue in the meantime, but the application date likely to be extended.

Jon will continue to oversee the North East waterway, with Tom Wright and Mike Marshall taking a greater role in the management of the waterway whilst Jon is seconded into the boating team.

Ian Rogers, customer services and operations director at Canal & River Trust, said: “I’m delighted Jon will be taking on the role. He has a wealth of experience managing the waterways in the north east. He’s well versed in working with boaters and understanding their needs and will bring a new perspective to the position, building on the great groundwork that Mike has put in place.”

In fact Jon Horsfall took over NE Waterways just over six years ago with no background in canals or boating. Originally a chemist, Jon worked in the water industry for twenty years before joining Canal & River Trust.

Previously at United Utilities, Jon has experience in operations, asset management, commercial and customer service leadership, as it says on a C&RT web page.

It remains to be seen in which direction he will aim to take current consultations on changes to the Trust's licensing regime and mooring in London.

Photos: (1st) Mike Grimes - making a swift departure, (2nd) Jon Horsfall when he first arrived as C&RT Waterways Manger in the NE in 2010, (3rd) Jon Horsfall at a recent canal conference.

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