Wednesday, December 08, 2010

General Manager latest departure from K&A Canal Trust

The Kennet & Avon Canal Trust, which over the last year has been making drastic changes to the way it is run following years of heavy financial losses, has announced further changes as it tries to address its financial and managerial problems.

K&A Canal Trust General
Manager, Mike Rodd.
Picture by Bob Naylor
General Manager to go
Having put its General Manager, Mike Rodd, onto part-time working recently, the Trust has now announced that he will be leaving the job at the end of the year. The Trust received a £75,000 grant from Kennet District Council to part-fund the post for three years on the basis of an application that said that the post would be self-financing through the General Manager's fundraising activities within the period of the grant. 
   To cease the appointment only two years into the three-year life of the grant could leave a question mark over any public money that may have been paid in advance to finance the post.

Healer appointed to minister to ailing Trust finances
Complementary health practitioner and qualified accountant, Suzanne Gaia has been appointed Treasurer. Her website says that she practices Reike, Angel and Ascension and it explains: "Angels are messengers from the Divine Source. They are very high frequency beings with no will of their own, they only carry out the will of the Divine Source." And: "Ascension means raising our level of consciousness up into a higher dimension. Our bodies are made up of millions of cells which are constantly vibrating. This is our level of vibration, otherwise known as our vibrational frequency. The more 'spiritual' we are, the faster our bodies vibrate, which increases our level of vibration. This means that our light body increases. The faster our body cells are vibrating, the higher the levels of light are in those cells."
   When Suzanne Gaia married Doug Stanley last year they had a civil wedding in Marlborough at which they both wore traditional Indian costume and they then held their reception and spent their honeymoon in a tepee at the Barge Inn beside the K&A Canal at Honeystreet.

Neil Lethby
Picture by Bob Naylor
Stand-in Chairman
Following the departure of Trust Chairman David Rees after less than nine months in the role, the Trust's treasurer, Neil Lethby, who had already given notice of standing down as treasurer, agreed to fill the post of Chairman until the end of the year.  Thanking Neil for his time as Treasurer a Trust spokesman said: "The Trust is extremely grateful for Neil’s nearly four years in this role, taking the Trust through some very difficult times."

David Inight
Picture by Bob Naylor

New Vice Chairman/Acting Chairman 
David Inight has been made Vice Chair of Trust Council, with special responsibility for developing relationships with the Branches, and for heading up a volunteering programme. David is also Chair of the Bradford on Avon Branch, Director of Boats and a Director of the KACT Enterprise Board. He will take over as acting chairman when Neil Lethby stands down at the end of the year.

Trustee comings and goings
At a recent Canal User’s Forum it was said that Mike Rodd had chaired the pilot K&A Local Partnership Board meeting. A Trust statement says: "The Council’s intention is to co-opt Mike as a Trustee as soon as possible after he steps down as General Manager, so that he can continue to play a major role in the Trust and maintain the many fruitful relationships that he has developed over the past two years, both within the Trust and with external agencies."
     The Trust has announced that Pauline King and Suzanne Gaia have been co-opted to the Trust Council but Harry Willis the Chairman of the Crofton Branch who was elected as a Trustee at the AGM in June is not listed as a Trustee in the Trust's magazine, The Butty.

Recruitment of new Trustees with 'specific skills'
The Trust says it has a current need for on-going recruitment of additional Trustees to bring specific skills to the management of the Trust. If you are interested, or want any further explanation about these recent changes, please contact Mike Rodd either by e-mail at:  or by phone on 01380 721279.

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