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  1. #1
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    Default The E.A's 2014 budget

    I would appreciate Boat One's comments as he seems very well informed.


    "The current funding for navigation comes from only two major sources - power boat licence fees and Government grant in aid. Flood Management, although within the EA, is budgeted separately so any additional funds directed to that will have little or no impact on the navigation"

    Yes this is where the problem is and where the debate should be, it's no good wringing our hands and try to find ways of increasing Navigation income or cutting costs, we could double the rowers license fees (which we should) or cut the number of temporary lock keepers etc (which we shouldn't) and it will make little to no difference. The argument should be why does the income from the water authorities not benefit Navigation, it's as much about Navigation as it is flood defences? why should dredging be a cost to Navigation? dredging will be mostly about limiting flood risk, why should Navigation not benefit from hydro power from the weirs and I am sure there are plenty of other streams of income and costs that could be more fairly shared between Navigation and Defra but I have no idea what the two P&L's look like.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
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    Default

    Yes this is where the problem is and where the debate should be,
    But for a debate to be productive it needs to be with the people who control the money - and they need to be prepared to listen and we need to convince them of our case.

    it's no good wringing our hands and try to find ways of increasing Navigation income or cutting costs,
    EA Thames management have the burden of cutting costs and do not see it as their role to produce new income streams. As I said previously, treasury rules actually tie their hands behind their backs. Who else do you think should be trying to find ways of improving income?
    we could double the rowers license fees (which we should)
    That would bring in around an extra 65k based on 2013 figures
    or cut the number of temporary lock keepers etc (which we shouldn't)
    but they likely will because its an easy way to cut costs - not a fortune maybe but a few hundred k
    and it will make little to no difference.
    Agreed - although the potential cost savings on seasonal staff are real.
    The argument should be why does the income from the water authorities not benefit Navigation,
    It goes into the Government pot from which navigation receives grant in aid. Actually, there is around 1million or so of direct income from the water companies but that is only around 30% of what us boaters pay.
    it's as much about Navigation as it is flood defences? why should dredging be a cost to Navigation? dredging will be mostly about limiting flood risk,
    Now it gets more complicated because you're talking about maintenance and capital works. Many here have argued that dredging is needed for navigation as well, particularly bankside at mooring places etc. Conversely, why should flood relief pay for maintaining and operating locks which mainly benefit boaters?
    why should Navigation not benefit from hydro power from the weirs
    Cos thats not the way its accounted !
    and I am sure there are plenty of other streams of income and costs that could be more fairly shared between Navigation and Defra but I have no idea what the two P&L's look like.
    Absolutely but the system grinds exceeding slow and government departments are public bodies not commercial entities that can manage their own fortunes. I have some knowledge of the headline figures but the finer details are difficult to access. The Customer Charter for 2014 (which is largely about service delivery) has not yet been agreed as we were expecting to hear what the EA Nav budget would be for this year about now but I guess it will be a while longer given the current issues.. Further cuts of up to 1million or more from grant in aid were being discussed as possible scenarios. Other than licence fees (of all types) there are no identifiable current income options remotely capable of replacing that sort of money.
    Last edited by boatone; 19-02-14 at 17:00.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Thank you for your comprehensive reply and for your hard work in voicing our concerns to the EA management
    Without a line of communication to the decision makers and those that control the money it's almost impossible and I do feel we are a bit like lambs to the slaughter and I seriously cannot imagine what the River will be like in a year or two from a boaters perspective. Are there any positives?
    At least we pay a license fee which should give us the right to be heard.
    If private businesses were run like this they wouldn't be around for long maybe the locks/weirs could be franchised to the Lock Keepers they would do an excellent job. If the Govt thought they could sell The Thames they would.

  4. #4
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    Default

    Interesting article about Thames Water in Management Today:
    http://www.managementtoday.co.uk/fea...e-its-fortune/

    I have suggested previously that an annual cheque for 1% of its operating profits (which could be charged as raw material costs) could pretty much solve the Thames funding problems and, as the EA office in Reading is just round the corner from their Head Office they could even hand deliver it and save the cost of a stamp!

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