Consultation meetingsTerminating the troubled Kennet & Avon Canal Trust and handing over its resources to the new waterway charity that will replace BW may be the most rational answer according to its governing body in a consultation document it has sent to members.
The financial and leadership crisis at the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust and falling membership together with the admission by the Trust Chairman that the Trust now does little to benefit the canal but instead puts most of its energies into simply 'sustaining' itself has led its governing council to ask members to help to decide the future of the Trust.
A letter along with a five-page survey has been sent out to all members asking for their opinion on whether the Trust should continue as it is now, limit its activities or shut up shop — which it describes as 'the most rational answer'.
The 'choices' offered to members along with the Trust Council's comments on them are:
Option One:Stay as we are, operate the K&A Trust as a separate organisation, much as we have in the past*If we stay as we are we risk finding ourselves with confusion and in competition with the new organisation with a big impact on fundraising, volunteering and much else that we do.
Option Two:Limit our operation to activities such as running trip boats, the pumping stations, museum and archive and become a heritage keeper for the canal, whilst withdrawing from towpath works and clearing etc and leave this to BW (The New Waterways Charity) and their volunteers*Many believe this is what we do best, but it does mean we abandon several of our traditional activities eg towpath works and clearing
Option 3:Become part of the New Waterways Charity once it is up and running, terminating the Trust and handing over its resources to the new charity* This may be the most rational answer, but would mean the end of the Trust in its historic form.
Recent related stories:Trust Council will be holding meetings along the canal where they say: "We can listen to your views and opinions and hope to be able to answer any queries you may have about the changes to British Waterways/The New Waterways Charity and the impact these are having on the K&A Trust."
The meetings will be at:Newbury: The Stone Building, Newbury Wharf, Thursday 12th May 6-8pm
Devizes: The Wharf Building, Monday 16th May 6-8pm
Bradford on Avon: The United Church, St Margaret's Street, Tuesday 17th May 6-8pm
The results of this survey and the consultation meetings will be available to members at the AGM – Saturday 11th June, 11am at the Devizes Wharf.
Trust does little for canal admits K&A Canal Trust Chairman