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Thread: Canoe England's Waterways & Environment meeting - 13th October, Reading

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    Default Canoe England's Waterways & Environment meeting - 13th October, Reading

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoe England
    The Waterways and Environment Team cordially invite Canoe England members to a meeting to help us with planning and promoting future actions as well as finding out about what we do.
    The meeting is in Reading so it's a good opportunity for those in convenient travelling distance to hear and be heard on future plans.

    Full details are here.
    Keith

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    Hmm, that sounds well worth doing. All being well, I should be able to make that. Will confirm after the big meet. In case folk don't notice, you do need to e-mail them to book.

    If it finishes on time (10am till 3.30pm), might nip out for a paddle up to Mapledurham or something afterwards too if anyone fancies it...

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    I have emailed them to book
    Doug Dew
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    Quote Originally Posted by dougdew99 View Post
    I have emailed them to book
    Ditto. Perhaps we should start PMing a list of questions/issues to be raised?

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Saunders View Post
    Ditto. Perhaps we should start PMing a list of questions/issues to be raised?
    Can we get the navigation license like the BCU are given? So I don't have to give my money to those useless

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    I have applied to go. Will they let me?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angut View Post
    I have applied to go. Will they let me?
    You should get a personal invitation... I would advise you contact CE and offer to speak on the case
    Doug Dew
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    Quote Originally Posted by dougdew99 View Post
    You should get a personal invitation... I would advise you contact CE and offer to speak on the case
    Have done

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    I got a reply to my request to attend the meeting:

    "Thank you for emailing the Waterways & Environment Team.

    We will aim to respond, in full, within 28 working days. However,
    during busy periods this may be a little longer. Thank you for your
    patience. Your thoughts and comments are very important to us.

    Kind regards

    The Waterways and Environment Team"



    Doug Dew
    "The best is yet to come" My Father


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    would love to attend but as I have just been told that because I am in CW, (Despite living in england and being English) I am not allowed to attend......

    Sour grapes I think....

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    I have replied to their invitation, stating I would very much like to attend.
    Fran

    Photobucket stole my sig



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    Quote Originally Posted by dougdew99 View Post
    I got a reply to my request to attend the meeting:

    "Thank you for emailing the Waterways & Environment Team.

    We will aim to respond, in full, within 28 working days. However,
    during busy periods this may be a little longer. Thank you for your
    patience. Your thoughts and comments are very important to us.

    Kind regards

    The Waterways and Environment Team"



    I got the same one. We should hear the night before unless they cancel because of excessive interest.

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    If they don't reply before the event turn up.... Just say they could not be bothered to reply but you could be bothered to turn up.

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    Who are "The Waterways and Environment Team"?

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    Probably the same as the access teams.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by DougR View Post
    Who are "The Waterways and Environment Team"?
    From the BCU and Canoe England websites
    Waterways and Environment
    The proposed new structure for the reformed Waterways and Environment department for Canoe England will be introduced in the coming months. This will comprise of a Strategy Group and an Operations Group.

    Richard Atkinson, as the new Waterways and Environment Manager, will produce terms of reference and a process for nominating the chair for each group. In addition, he will be asked to develop the groups to maximise skills and knowledge to support the departmentís work. We will be looking for volunteers with suitable skill sets to contribute to both groups and role descriptors and a process for applications will be announced in the new year.
    Oh, wait, this hasn't been updated since it was first posted last October. Perhaps an explanation of the 'access structure' within W&E will be an early part of the meeting agenda. Hint, hint.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quicky View Post
    If they don't reply before the event turn up.... Just say they could not be bothered to reply but you could be bothered to turn up.
    Yes we should all turn up even if we don't get an invite. If they won't let us in call the press and make a scene?

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    This is starting to sound very confrontational and it shouldn't do.

    Here is the full text of the CE invitation.
    Invite to Canoe England members - Waterways and Environment team meetingThe Waterways and Environment Team cordially invite Canoe England members to a meeting to help us with planning and promoting future actions as well as finding out about what we do.
    Date: Saturday 13th October
    Venue: Reading Canoe Club, The Warren, Caversham, Reading, Berkshire, RG4 7THT
    Format: The day will commence at 10 am for coffee with the meeting starting at 10.30 and finishing at 15.30.

    The topics covered will include areas of our work including; environmental work, plans for the future and the Rivers Access Campaign.

    There will be plenty of opportunity for questions and open discussions, we want to meet you and hear your thoughts too.
    Please note; Numbers are limited so you need to apply by email to access@canoe-england.org.uk to book your place.

    This is a Canoe England membersí only event and due to numbers only pre-booked members will be able to attend.

    Reading Canoe Club is next to the Thames so please bring your canoe if you want a paddle afterwards.


    Once you have booked you will receive further joining instructions.
    There are several reasons why individual members may not have received invitations via the email newsletter.
    • You may not have registered to receive the email newsletter. sign up here
    • Your computer may be interpreting these newsletters as junk mail and filtering them before you see them. Mine was a couple of months ago.


    However this invitation is replicated in Canoe Focus which is currently being despatched. I understand that further regional meetings are being planned so there may well be one nearer you soon. If everyone treats this as a one off national meeting CE will not be able to accommodate the likely numbers responding.

    The standard response email that says
    We will aim to respond, in full, within 28 working days. However, during busy periods this may be a little longer.
    is often a source of irritation but in this case there is no need for research or debate on an appropriate answer so I am sure that our replies on this subject will be much faster.

    Most importantly the objective of this meeting is clearly to create a situation where CE staff, volunteers and members work together more effectively towards our common objective. That's a constructive objective which deserves and requires a positive and constructive approach from everyone concerned.
    Keith

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    Quote Originally Posted by KeithD View Post
    This is starting to sound very confrontational and it shouldn't do.

    Here is the full text of the CE invitation.

    There are several reasons why individual members may not have received invitations via the email newsletter.
    • You may not have registered to receive the email newsletter. sign up here
    • Your computer may be interpreting these newsletters as junk mail and filtering them before you see them. Mine was a couple of months ago.


    However this invitation is replicated in Canoe Focus which is currently being despatched. I understand that further regional meetings are being planned so there may well be one nearer you soon. If everyone treats this as a one off national meeting CE will not be able to accommodate the likely numbers responding.

    The standard response email that says is often a source of irritation but in this case there is no need for research or debate on an appropriate answer so I am sure that our replies on this subject will be much faster.

    Most importantly the objective of this meeting is clearly to create a situation where CE staff, volunteers and members work together more effectively towards our common objective. That's a constructive objective which deserves and requires a positive and constructive approach from everyone concerned.
    Keith,
    That is certainly a point of view, but not the only one... in a democracy, people are free to express their views as they see fit... I will attend and listen to what they to say... I will work constructively if I think they are on the right track... They have a big job to rebuild respect from their members. I hope they recognize this and are willing to begin a new phase of cooperation with their membership.
    Doug Dew
    "The best is yet to come" My Father


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    Quote Originally Posted by dougdew99 View Post
    I will attend and listen to what they to say... I will work constructively if I think they are on the right track... They have a big job to rebuild respect from their members. I hope they recognize this and are willing to begin a new phase of cooperation with their membership.
    That's exactly as it should be, Doug, and the most likely attitude to create a constructive outcome. I hope and believe that this is intended to be a two way conversation regarding the way forward rather than just a series of CE presentations, which is also as it should be.
    Keith

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    Currently not a member of Canoe England so cannot attend. However should the meeting be a constructive one that shows a willingness to change and actively work with their members I may rejoin.

    Their present attitude that holds recreational paddlers as a mere income stream and a major irritation needs to be addressed.

    Bushcraft Survival and First Aid Training.

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    I've had an e-mail from Tamsin which does not quite amount to an invitation. I agree with Keith we should not be too confrontational but hedging makes me nervous. Is it mess up or conspiracy? Contemplating negative rewards may prove preventative in either case. I also agree with Doug that, " They have a big job to rebuild respect from their members. I hope they recognize this and are willing to begin a new phase of cooperation with their membership." My attitude depends on how successful they are in this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Grey View Post
    If it finishes on time (10am till 3.30pm), might nip out for a paddle up to Mapledurham or something afterwards too if anyone fancies it...
    What! You're considering making this an opportunity to go for a paddle, rather than just extended jawing? So unlike you! Sounds like a plan!...

    The club room is hired out for a function after our meeting but the changing rooms are available for use.
    ...Not sure you'll be able to fire up for a venison burger on the decking tho'!
    Last edited by John Saunders; 10th-September-2012 at 08:06 PM.

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    I'm away padding, but I see this meeting as something positive and would to love what is discussed etc if anyone fancies posting after the event

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    positive and constructive approach from everyone concerned.
    So be positive when you nudge them to do something......

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    I have received a response providing details of the meeting, advising that a membership card is required to attend and advice that the agenda will be provided shortly.

    I hope that many SOTP people attend. This is a golden opportunity to find out what our National Governing Body is up to and to express your views. The recent survey indicated that the vast majority of respondees were very dissatisfied with CE's performance on access. We need to express this very clearly and help them create a campaign that we will be willing to support.
    Doug Dew
    "The best is yet to come" My Father


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    Here is the pro-active approach the Ramblers take... I would like to see this kind of activism from CE

    "Hello Doug
    Our National Trails are under threat and we need your help.
    The Government is planning to drastically change the way National Trails – including the iconic Pennine Way – are looked after.
    The Government wants to wash its hands of National Trails and hand responsibility for them to hard-pressed local authorities and volunteer groups.
    These plans are bad news for walkers.
    They could lead to a massive fall in the quality of the Trails. This would also be devastating for the local businesses and communities who rely on trade the Trails bring to their area.
    Ramblers have been very clear that National Trails need a national champion.
    You can join the Ramblers campaign for National Trails TODAY simply by watching our video.
    Once you’ve watched the video Doug please ask your friends and family to watch it too. We really need your help to get our message across.
    I will be in touch over the coming days and weeks with more ways you can support our campaign for National Trails. In the meantime, please do watch our video and share it with your friends.
    By coming together for National Trails, we can help give them a fantastic future.
    Thanks for your support.

    Nicky Philpott
    Campaigns Director
    Ramblers

    PS – Please watch and share our National Trails video TODAY."


    Doug Dew
    "The best is yet to come" My Father


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    Their leaders have passion and vision. One of the old prophets said, "Without vision the people perish"

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    I, too, have applied and received the invite. I believe that this meeting, and the others planned, represents the actions of an organisation realizing that there are things it might need to do. Until CE shows that this is not the case, I intend to support them, to the point of volunteering to help if needed.

    I find the vehement denegration of CE by those who are not members rather surprising. If it isn't your money that is being allegedly wasted or misspent, why should you care, and why should CE worry?

    Anger alone is not a very useful weapon.

    Impcanoe

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    I'm away canoeing that weekend, otherwise I would attend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Impcanoe View Post
    I, too, have applied and received the invite. I believe that this meeting, and the others planned, represents the actions of an organisation realizing that there are things it might need to do. Until CE shows that this is not the case, I intend to support them, to the point of volunteering to help if needed.

    I find the vehement denegration of CE by those who are not members rather surprising. If it isn't your money that is being allegedly wasted or misspent, why should you care, and why should CE worry?

    Anger alone is not a very useful weapon.

    Impcanoe
    I volunteered to help in an advisory capacity and even work through some real situations with them to show them the methodology. Part of the reason for writing the pocket guide to the law on my website (andybiddulph.co.uk ) was Richard Atkinson's request for a summary. Result = 0. It seems you can't help some people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angut View Post
    I volunteered to help in an advisory capacity and even work through some real situations with them to show them the methodology. Part of the reason for writing the pocket guide to the law on my website (andybiddulph.co.uk ) was Richard Atkinson's request for a summary. Result = 0. It seems you can't help some people.
    I also volunteered to help out (in any capacity) with more access meetings after the one in the NW (last year/earlier this year?). Response: Nada.

    Attendees should keep in mind that the BCU/CE's funding as a NGB (which is approx. double the annual membership income) from direct govt. grants and the lottery (via Sport England) is up in 2013, and therefore BCU/CE are about to put in a new bid for the next 4 years. This will include a claim to be promoting the development of access for wider paddling uptake, so don't be a stooge to this process, and demand the setting of real targets (the last bid included promises about the creation of Canoe Trails which basically meant they produced some ropey .pdf docs of routes along non-contested canal and salt water routes).

    This meeting will be used as an exemplar of membership interaction on access issues, so we're going to need to keep focused on our expectations and have them recorded as such.

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    Firstly, I have nothing but admiration for Angut's dedication to the cause.

    Secondly, the RYA is very focussed on competition, and the search for the next Ben Ainsly but it still has taken anti goverment stances on the some ecological issues, Red Diesal, reporting destinations, offshore windfarms, and in so doing acheved some notable "victories".

    Having worked for a considerable part of my life with contact with public and goverment bodies, I know that change can take some time, and that there can be lack of vision on both sides.

    However, I've not contacted my MP, nor the odd person in goverment that I know personally, but I realise that I should, and I will.

    Impcanoe

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    When I suggested to John in March 2011 that we start an SOTP Access Campaign, a fundamental part of my thinking was that we should influence and help the BCU to run an effective access campaign. We had several meetings with them at that time, but it became clear they were not ready for this.

    In eighteen months a great deal has happened; there has been some great work done by individual SOTP members, and a growing awareness in the paddling community of the challenges we face. There are several different opinions of what we should do next, but I do think some progress has been made.

    I have not changed my view that the BCU, as our National Governing Body, has a massive role in this. We can only be pleased that they are holding a public meeting of members, and if they are proposing to conduct an effective access campaign, then I will be the first to put up my hand to help them.
    Doug Dew
    "The best is yet to come" My Father


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    I think there is something missing here. I can't find any explanation for the ineffectiveness of and refusal to accept assisance for the access campaign. The disfunctional personality theory assumes they are operating in isolation from the rest of the CE management. The fact of one secret deal with Natural England raises the possibility of there being others. Maybe I have a nasty suspicious mind but I must ask the question, Has there been a secret deal whereby funding depends on the access campaign being ineffective?

    I agree with Doug, the BCU has a central role to play but it needs to be made fit for purpose.

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    "The fact of one secret deal with Natural England"


    eh? - surely this deserves some sort of explanation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DougR View Post
    "The fact of one secret deal with Natural England"


    eh? - surely this deserves some sort of explanation.
    CE were inordinately proud of having an input into an internal NE policy document which was so ultra secret that the members were not supposed to know about it, but NE were quite open about it even though it was never circulated inside NE. This was a zero content document with every paragraph containing hidden assumptions that were against our interests. NE saw our people coming and played on their weakness for feeling an important part of things. Who knows what else they could have given away to feel part of the establishment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angut View Post
    CE were inordinately proud of having an input into an internal NE policy document which was so ultra secret that the members were not supposed to know about it, but NE were quite open about it even though it was never circulated inside NE. This was a zero content document with every paragraph containing hidden assumptions that were against our interests. NE saw our people coming and played on their weakness for feeling an important part of things. Who knows what else they could have given away to feel part of the establishment.
    Is there a link to this document? I would be very interested to see what has been arranged on my behalf, and quite happy to throw a paddy with CE if I don't like what was decided.
    Sam

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    Quote Originally Posted by samB View Post
    Is there a link to this document? I would be very interested to see what has been arranged on my behalf, and quite happy to throw a paddy with CE if I don't like what was decided.
    Sam
    There is no link. It never left the desks of the parties involved. It had no real content, just waffle. It was the assumptions behind the waffle which were insidious. I'm sure our guys did not see those assumptions. They were non-plussed when I pointed them out. What you need to have a paddy about is the whole business of secret deals. I was sworn to secrecy about its existence, even though other people already knew. When Wanda at NE openly refered to it I figured it was only CE that thought it was a state secret and I was no longer bound by the official secrets act. As a matter of principle, I do everything in the broad light of day.

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    I will be attending - with interest, but not much expectation. I may be pleasantly surprised, but only by actions and results.

    It will be interesting to see how they propose to involve canoeing more in looking after and enhancing river environments, and ensuring paddlers are represented properly on the bodies responsible for their management.

    It will be good to meet with many of you from SOTP and I hope to paddle afterwards.

    Brevan
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    Quote Originally Posted by dougdew99 View Post
    Here is the pro-active approach the Ramblers take... I would like to see this kind of activism from CE

    "Hello Doug
    Our National Trails are under threat and we need your help.
    The Government is planning to drastically change the way National Trails – including the iconic Pennine Way – are looked after.
    The Government wants to wash its hands of National Trails and hand responsibility for them to hard-pressed local authorities and volunteer groups.
    These plans are bad news for walkers.
    They could lead to a massive fall in the quality of the Trails. This would also be devastating for the local businesses and communities who rely on trade the Trails bring to their area.
    Ramblers have been very clear that National Trails need a national champion.
    You can join the Ramblers campaign for National Trails TODAY simply by watching our video.
    Once you’ve watched the video Doug please ask your friends and family to watch it too. We really need your help to get our message across.
    I will be in touch over the coming days and weeks with more ways you can support our campaign for National Trails. In the meantime, please do watch our video and share it with your friends.
    By coming together for National Trails, we can help give them a fantastic future.
    Thanks for your support.

    Nicky Philpott
    Campaigns Director
    Ramblers

    PS – Please watch and share our National Trails video TODAY."



    The difference is that the Ramblers were set up to fight for access it is in their DNA, they have a structured system for monitoring and protecting access where ever it is threatened. CE is treating access as a small part of it's work and has it's hands tied due to the way it is funded. Is it not time for the Access Campaign to stand on its own, linked to BCU, CE & CW but run by an independent team dedicated to one aim so that the conflict of interests is reduced?
    "Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men"
    Grp Cpt Sir Douglas Bader CBE,DSO,DFC,FRAeS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Saunders View Post
    From the BCU and Canoe England websites
    Waterways and Environment
    The proposed new structure for the reformed Waterways and Environment department for Canoe England will be introduced in the coming months. This will comprise of a Strategy Group and an Operations Group.

    Richard Atkinson, as the new Waterways and Environment Manager, will produce terms of reference and a process for nominating the chair for each group. In addition, he will be asked to develop the groups to maximise skills and knowledge to support the departmentís work. We will be looking for volunteers with suitable skill sets to contribute to both groups and role descriptors and a process for applications will be announced in the new year.
    Oh, wait, this hasn't been updated since it was first posted last October. Perhaps an explanation of the 'access structure' within W&E will be an early part of the meeting agenda. Hint, hint.
    This has now been changed on both sites to
    Waterways and Environment Operations Group
    The Waterways and Environment Operations Group is responsible for the strategic planning, policies, guidance, and implementation for access and the environment in England.
    Did anyone see the announcement of a volunteer application process? It looks like the Strategy Group was lost, but at least we now have defined responsibility areas for the Operations Group: strategic planning, policies, guidance, and implementation for access.
    Last edited by John Saunders; 20th-September-2012 at 05:26 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angut View Post
    I think there is something missing here. I can't find any explanation for the ineffectiveness of and refusal to accept assisance for the access campaign. The disfunctional personality theory assumes they are operating in isolation from the rest of the CE management. The fact of one secret deal with Natural England raises the possibility of there being others. Maybe I have a nasty suspicious mind but I must ask the question, Has there been a secret deal whereby funding depends on the access campaign being ineffective?

    I agree with Doug, the BCU has a central role to play but it needs to be made fit for purpose.
    That is the '60 thousand dollar question' ?

    I have also considered whether we should look to forming a new organisation,or put our trust in CE/BCU.

    I think that CE/BCU are best placed as an organisation to address the access issue,rather than trying to set

    up a new body,and I feel that they are aware of the increasing ground swell of impatience among paddlers

    like my self, who want a far more proactive approach from CE/BCU,that is open,rather than the reluctant

    and clandestine favoured by them,which leads to the assumption that there is some form of conspiracy going on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Saunders View Post
    This has now been changed on both sites to Did anyone see the announcement of a volunteer application process? It looks like the Strategy Group was lost, but at least we now have defined responsibility areas for the Operations Group: strategic planning, policies, guidance, and implementation for access.
    The words look good but what do they mean in practice? Defining responsibility areas does not change the lack of knowledge and skills nor cause a backbone to grow. My offer of providing advisory and training support still stands.
    Last edited by Angut; 21st-September-2012 at 08:53 AM. Reason: typo

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    I am very optimistic... I think that the groundswell that is growing though the Internet is going to be instrumental in bringing about a change... It will drag all the stakeholders, BCU, EA, Anglers Trust, into the realization that we are an irresistable force. The question is not whether we are going to paddle on these rivers, but how is everyone going to cope with our presence.
    Doug Dew
    "The best is yet to come" My Father


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    I intend to hand out copies of my strategic plan at the meeting. Part of which involves intellegence gathering to get all the bits and pieces of local knowledge in one place along with the results of requesting that fishing clubs present documentary support for their claims to control navigation. The result would be a rivers doomsday book. I have put a mock up on my web site http://andybiddulph.co.uk/ Let me know what you think. Although canoeists having a collective memory would be valuable in itself, the process of generating this document should take the fishermen right out of the access equation because we can ask, "Why should we take any notice of you if you can't show us in black and white that you have any rights at all concerning navigation?"
    Last edited by Angut; 21st-September-2012 at 07:41 PM.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by dougdew99 View Post
    I am very optimistic... I think that the groundswell that is growing though the Internet is going to be instrumental in bringing about a change... It will drag all the stakeholders, BCU, EA, Anglers Trust, into the realization that we are an irresistable force. The question is not whether we are going to paddle on these rivers, but how is everyone going to cope with our presence.
    I think their best tactic would be to pull in their lines, nod and smile but not look us in the eye in case we take offence.

  48. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angut View Post
    I intend to hand out copies of my strategic plan at the meeting. Part of which involves intellegence gathering to get all the bits and pieces of local knowledge in one place along with the results of requesting that fishing clubs present documentary support for their claims to control navigation. The result would be a rivers doomsday book. I have put a mock up on my web site http://andybiddulph.co.uk/ Let me know what you think. Although canoeists having a collective memory would be valuable in itself, the process of generating this document should take the fishermen right out of the access equation because we can ask, "Why should we take any notice of you if you can't show us in black and white that you have any rights at all concerning navigation?"
    Keith's map is a comprehensive database of UK rivers. It may be that additional information could be added to this database, showing angling clubs on each river and their proof of the PRN status of each river. We could collectively gather information on angling clubs and their email and postal addresses and load them into the database. This information could be used to generate emails or letters to be sent.... The replies could be stored in the database as well. Maybe the BCU could fund this. Just a thought. I think Keith has done an amazing job with this map. Winder if the BCU access web site links to it?
    Doug Dew
    "The best is yet to come" My Father


  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by dougdew99 View Post
    Keith's map is a comprehensive database of UK rivers. It may be that additional information could be added to this database, showing angling clubs on each river and their proof of the PRN status of each river.
    What is needed more than anything is a co-ordinated approach that enables all paddlers to contribute to planned action towards our shared objective. The meeting at Reading provides the opportunity to start to develop this. I am very happy to discuss how the access map can be developed to play a part in this.

    My own view is that most angling clubs are either neutral or at least not actively engaged on trying to deny the public right of navigation and therefore a database of all clubs (an enormous task) is not helpful and would not be productive. Such information on the "hotspots", however, could be helpful and could easily be integrated into the map. First we need much more input on the basic data. The Dee at Llangollen is clearly a current hotspot but the access map for this section shows only one Access Report and a couple of incidents.

    Lets seek to use the meeting at Reading (and others) to build a co-ordinated plan. It will require leadership and compromise to create some real teamwork.
    Keith

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by KeithD View Post
    What is needed more than anything is a co-ordinated approach that enables all paddlers to contribute to planned action towards our shared objective. The meeting at Reading provides the opportunity to start to develop this. I am very happy to discuss how the access map can be developed to play a part in this.

    My own view is that most angling clubs are either neutral or at least not actively engaged on trying to deny the public right of navigation and therefore a database of all clubs (an enormous task) is not helpful and would not be productive. Such information on the "hotspots", however, could be helpful and could easily be integrated into the map. First we need much more input on the basic data. The Dee at Llangollen is clearly a current hotspot but the access map for this section shows only one Access Report and a couple of incidents.

    Lets seek to use the meeting at Reading (and others) to build a co-ordinated plan. It will require leadership and compromise to create some real teamwork.
    The Ramblers have already gone through this stage of creating a co-ordinated approach, their system is very effective, why reinvent the wheel? Could we not liaise with the Ramblers and ask for their advice on adapting their system to suit our needs. We are both fighting the same basic cause so I would be surprised if they were unwilling to help. We also need funds dedicated to fighting for access, if a small £2 surcharge was added to all BCU members fees and ring-fenced for access then we would soon have a meaningful fighting fund.

    I personally feel that the Access Campaign should be run by BCU members but in a separate Charitable Limited Company and run by a committee made up of BCU staff and volunteer members, all BCU members would be members as a result of the £2 levy. That way the funds can be ring-fenced and the liability if any future legal action goes wrong is limited. The option for other organisations like the swimmers to be associated with the campaign would be easier and individual membership could be offered to those who are not BCU members, so getting the widest support possible. It would also be more attractive for commercial sponsors like the canoe and equipment companies to support us. Applying for Grants from sources such as The Splash Fund may also be easier. The need for an Access Campaign will be with us for decades as if and when the legal side is sorted there will be a continuing need to fight for access to the river, this may include leasing land to get to the river.
    "Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men"
    Grp Cpt Sir Douglas Bader CBE,DSO,DFC,FRAeS.

  51. #51

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    Cloudman
    That is an excellent suggestion.

    I have had contact with the Ramblers and they are willing to offer advice... they would no interest in adopting our cause, but I have found them most helpful.
    Doug Dew
    "The best is yet to come" My Father


  52. #52
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    It looks like Keith has done most of the work already. I agree that we should concentrate on hot spots.

    Cloudman is thinking along the same lines as I am "Lets seek to use the meeting at Reading (and others) to build a co-ordinated plan. It will require leadership and compromise to create some real teamwork.The Ramblers have already gone through this stage of creating a co-ordinated approach, their system is very effective, why reinvent the wheel? Could we not liaise with the Ramblers and ask for their advice on adapting their system to suit our needs. We are both fighting the same basic cause so I would be surprised if they were unwilling to help. We also need funds dedicated to fighting for access, if a small £2 surcharge was added to all BCU members fees and ring-fenced for access then we would soon have a meaningful fighting fund.

    I personally feel that the Access Campaign should be run by BCU members but in a separate Charitable Limited Company and run by a committee made up of BCU staff and volunteer members, all BCU members would be members as a result of the £2 levy. That way the funds can be ring-fenced and the liability if any future legal action goes wrong is limited. The option for other organisations like the swimmers to be associated with the campaign would be easier and individual membership could be offered to those who are not BCU members, so getting the widest support possible. It would also be more attractive for commercial sponsors like the canoe and equipment companies to support us. Applying for Grants from sources such as The Splash Fund may also be easier. The need for an Access Campaign will be with us for decades as if and when the legal side is sorted there will be a continuing need to fight for access to the river, this may include leasing land to get to the river."

    I think we are close to a 5 year plan. I am starting to feel confident about this meeting. I can't see how CE could wriggle out of this.

  53. #53
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    Yes Cloudman, I agree, sounds like a fine idea.

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    I have received this e-mail from Richard Atkinson

    Hi Andy
    I hope you are well. I am just dropping you an email to thank you for your suggestion of a slot at the Reading meeting on 13th Oct.
    We thought it more helpful for CE members to have the morning session discussing the role of the Waterways and Environment Team
    and to appreciate that the team are involved in a diverse range of activities and not just access.
    The agenda will be sent to you early next week.
    The whole of the afternoon session will be dedicated to Access and we will be discussing the issues through the use of presentations and delegate participation using group ‘break out’ sessions where you will have the opportunity to openly discuss access and ask any questions.
    I hope you are happy with this meeting structure, and I look forward to meeting you again on 13th.
    Regards
    Richard

    So, it's divide and rule with no questions to the open meeting. No place for Cloudman to propose his plan. I will be using a flyer to get my ideas across to the whole meeting. I think we need to give Richard the earache.

  55. #55
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    We thought it more helpful for CE members to have the morning session discussing the role of the Waterways and Environment Team
    Not entirely unhappy with this bit as I'm attending to see what W&E see their role as (and if this is stated to involve fighting for access, whether they have any genuine commitment coupled to clear plans), rather than listen to the ideas and thoughts of individuals which I can read on here...

    and to appreciate that the team are involved in a diverse range of activities and not just access.
    ...but much less happy with this (and what follows) as I believe that the majority of members who turn up, whilst interested in environmental aspects of paddling, will be attending with a primary interest in the access issue, and the BCU/CE know this.

    The agenda will be sent to you early next week.
    The whole of the afternoon session will be dedicated to Access and we will be discussing the issues through the use of presentations and delegate participation using group ‘break out’ sessions where you will have the opportunity to openly discuss access and ask any questions.
    "Divide and rule" was my immediate thought here too, before I even read down to where Angut had already written this. However, the use of 'break out' groups is normally followed by a regrouping of all attendees and summarisation of all the discussions/findings to the whole group. It will be at this point BCU/CE will have to definitively nail their colours to the access mast, but it's a shame they don't look likely to do this from the off so that the meeting could actually be used to develop plans rather than listen to 'positions'.
    Last edited by John Saunders; 29th-September-2012 at 11:31 AM.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angut View Post
    I have received this e-mail from Richard Atkinson

    Hi Andy
    ................We thought it more helpful for CE members to have the morning session discussing the role of the Waterways and Environment Team
    and to appreciate that the team are involved in a diverse range of activities and not just access. ................
    Regards
    Richard
    I'm also quite relaxed about this. I'd like to understand the "diverse range of activities" that the team spend their time on for a couple of reasons:-
    • It's done in our name with our money
    • Time being a finite resource, it's a distraction from time spent on access and needs to be prioritised appropriately.


    This meeting is an opportunity for CE to demonstrate the relevance of their current plan and their willingness to adapt and respond in dealing with the inevitable gaps in the plan. They deserve this chance to show what they are capable of. I shall continue to approach the meeting hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. I will not be planning to paddle after the meeting - it's more important to enable the meeting (and the agenda) to be extended to enable it to reach a constructive conclusion.
    Keith

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    I think an early request from the floor for a show of hands as to who is there primarily to discuss access will help determine the best agenda for the day.
    Doug Dew
    "The best is yet to come" My Father


  58. #58
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    So what do people think of the meeting agenda?

  59. #59
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    I fear there is too much in there for the time that is available. I'd feel fairly relaxed if the time available was flexible enough to extend as necessary to get the job done but the devil is in the small print in the first attachment -
    The meeting starts at 10.30hrs and concludes at 15.30 hours as the room is use afterwards.
    If it ends up as a "token" meeting that doesn't have time to deal with the substance of the issue (which is all in the second half) CE will have made things worse, not better, and wasted a real opportunity. Perhaps the order needs changing so that items 3 & 4 only get dealt with if time permits. If there is not enough time CE can video their presentations and put them in the members section on their website.

    Hope for the best - plan for the worst!
    Keith

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    It is clear from the agenda and paperwork that this meeting is not to consult the members but to tick the consultation box on some grant application. We could easily reverse engineer the application form from this paperwork alone. The only thing we could not fill in is the title on the form because these forms are all set to a standard pattern. We have this same problem in the arts where creativity become subserviant to a class of professional form fillers. This answers the question I was going to put to Richard Atkinson, "What are you afraid of that stops you being effective on access." Anything proactive would be contraversial and create problems for the form fillers. These are the tokens of their enslavement.

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