More job losses to come at C&RT?

November 2017 - Up to 200 C&RT employees may be made redundant following a decision by the Trust to restructure in order to simplify how it works. Back in May the Floater queried why C&RT had nine highly paid directors when, in 2012, it only had six. Perhaps it is unsurprising, then, that we find out that the nine are now reduced seven. However it is not only directors that will go (or, or indeed have already gone) as Allan Richards explains.

Just before C&RT decided to issue a press release about it's shrinking top team on November 9, a C&RT internal communication was was leaked on both on Facebook and a waterway forum. It was from Richard Parry and sent to all staff. ​

It read:


As we reflect on our progress over the first five years of the Trust, we can all be proud of the work we’ve done and everything that we have achieved. As we look ahead, we need also to acknowledge that there is much more to do, with an exciting opportunity to expand on our progress to date, and a critical need to address the significant risks that we still face. Our predecessors were bold in their vision of turning a public agency into a new Trust and we must fulfil the promise that our independence as a charity affords us – and ensure our future is secure and sustainable.
To deliver this positive future for the Trust, it is clear that we have to make further changes, both in our behaviours and how we work, and in how we organise ourselves. So I am announcing today some changes to the way that the Trust is organised, which will in some way affect everyone across the organisation, with the direct impact largely on Executive and senior management roles, as we strive to simplify how the Trust works.

- Julie Sharman is appointed to a new role as Chief Operating Officer, accountable for all of our day-to-day operations, performance and service delivery, and for our local engagement, through our waterway teams.
- Stuart Mills takes on a wider role as Chief Investment Officer, responsible for all of the Trust’s main income streams. Matt Forrest, Head of Fundraising, will report to Stuart, who also assumes responsibility for museums with Graham Boxer moving to report to Stuart.
- Heather Clarke becomes Strategy, Impact and Engagement Director, with responsibility for brand, marketing, and public affairs in addition to her current responsibilities for strategy and planning, with Nicky Wakeford and Ed Fox reporting to Heather.
- Simon Bamford becomes Asset Improvement Director, responsible for delivering the Trust’s long term asset programmes – both through our Direct Services teams and our contractors. John Ward and Richard Wakelen will move to report to Simon.
- Mike Gooddie becomes ‘People Director’, and Sandra Kelly remains as Finance Director, with no change to the scope of their roles, and will lead the changes to simplify and streamline our processes.

As a result of these changes, Ian Rogers will be leaving the Trust. I would like to thank Ian for all his considerable work in bringing a greater customer focus to the Trust in his three years with us. I am sure you will join me in wishing Ian the very best for the future. Ian’s direct reports will now report to Julie, other than as above.

Over the next few weeks the respective Directors will lead the work to develop the roles and new structures within each function. We will of course commence consultation with the trade unions and other relevant bodies concerning any changes as and when appropriate. I hope to give a further update in around a month’s time.

My call to you all is that, during this period of change, we maintain our focus on the vital work we do to care for our waterways and support the well-being of our users, continuing to deliver a great experience to the millions of people who enjoy them. We will be as open as we can as the work progresses. Please talk to your manager, your colleagues and our People Champions to share any specific concerns and to stay informed.

I firmly believe, with the full support of the new Executive team, that these changes will make the Trust a better place to work, and mean that we can all be more effective in delivering our aspirations and securing our future.


Over the five years of its existence, the Trusts headcount has increased by more than 200. Taking on highly paid directors and senior managers inevitably leads to empire building. Now, it seems that Trustees have decided to put an end to it and slim the charity working from the top down.

... and the exodus has already started. As well as two directors we have two waterway managers. Vicky Martin (South East) and Wendy Capelle (North West & Borders) will go before Christmas. Martin, has been in the job two and a half years and was previously General Manager of ArcelorMittal Orbit. In complete contrast, Wendy Capelle, a qualified management accountant, has 20 years service in BW/C&RT.

Also known to be leaving is another BW/C&RT stalwart. Caroline Killeavy, Head of Community Engagement & Programmes (whatever that means?) is going after 21 years BW/C&RT service.

C&RT has not advertised for replacements for these three senior managers, but on November 13 C&RT confirmed that North Wales & Borders Waterway Manager, Wendy Capelle is taking early retirement. Also going are two of her long serving supervisors (with around 40 years service each), Howard Griffiths and Neville Preece.

David Baldacchino, currently Waterway Manager for Manchester & Pennine, will take over as interim North Wales & Borders Waterway Manager from 1 January 2018. C&RT do not say if this interim appointment is in addition to his current Manchester & Pennine responsibilities.

No announcement has been made regarding Vicky Martin or Caroline Killeavy.

Lower down the corporate ladder, we will have to wait and see how many will be made redundant. We will also have to wait and see what effect this has on a combined pay claim made, by Unite and Unison, earlier this year.

With some charities suggesting that living wages (rather than minimum wages) is an issue for the UK as well as the third world, the unions have pointed out that Richard Parry's salary has risen at three to four times the pay of its own members' since he took the job.

Quite where this leaves Richard Parry's call to 'focus on the vital work we do to care for our waterways' is anybody's guess. How can staff be expected to focus under a threat of redundancy? A threat of redundancy from somebody who should be explaining why the Trust is in a position where redundancies are necessary.

What is clear from Mr Parry's message to staff is that, having played a pivotal role in the last reorganisation, three years ago, he will play no part in this latest shakeup. That will be left to two recently appointed directors who were appointed with the involvement of his board.

The Chief Executive seems to be becoming semi-detached.

Photos: (1st) Richard Parry - a semi-detached chief executive?, (2nd) Wendy Capelle (North West & Borders manager) will go before Christmas, (3rd) Vicky Martin (South East) another Waterways Manager on her way, (4th) Caroline Killeavy, Head of Community Engagement & Programmes going after 21 years, is pictured at a C&RT team event.

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