C&RT unable to name single working group member

July 2017 - Having previously offered to put our Allan Richards in contact with a member of a working group set up to look at the results of the 2016 Boat Owners’ Survey, Canal & River Trust now says it is unable to provide that persons name.

In fact, as Allan reports, the Trust is now unable to provide names of any members of the group. The U-turn follows a further information request.

It was just a week ago that The Floater revealed that C&RT had specifically stated a working group had already been set up but was now claiming that it held no information relating to that group 'None of the information you have requested is held …' or is it?.

Its press release last year claimed: 'A working group is now taking an in-depth look at the results to see what needs to be improved upon and what is working well. We will provide updates on any actions that will be taken as a result of the research.'

However, C&RT's responses when asked for information regarding the group were distinctly odd. They were asked for:

1. Links to any updates published.
2. Copies of any updates unpublished.
3. Minutes/notes of any meetings.
4. Research papers.
5. Any other recorded information held related to this working group.

But responded 'None of the information you have requested is held by the Canal & River Trust'.

So it seems that having previously claimed that 'A working group is now taking an in-depth look at the results ...' they now claim that they hold absolutely no information related to it whatsoever. Bizarrely, this did not stop the Trust offering to provide information via one of the group's members -

'However, if you have any further interest in the relationship between what was discussed by the group and how this could influence future action for the Trust please let us know and someone in the team will be more than happy to discuss with you.'

Bearing in mind the rather obvious contradiction here, C&RT was asked for the name of the chair (or leader of the group) and a list of the members of the group. After what can only be described as some 'ducking and diving' the Trust's response was 'the information you have requested is not held by the Trust'. Perhaps somehow the Trust had managed to lose all the team members names ...

Would it be fair to say that the Trust misled boaters a year ago by saying that a working group was already in operation? Or are they misleading now by claiming that they hold no information related to that working group?

Photos: Correspondence between CRT and Allan Richards.

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