More cuts at the top for Canal & River Trust

CRT reshuffle

CRT reshuffle - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A reduction in the size of the CRT’s team of executive directors has been followed by news of further cuts at the highest levels

A reduction in the size of the Canal & River Trust’s team of executive directors has been followed by the announcement that there will be further cuts at the highest levels – including a reduction in the number of regional Waterway Units, leading to concerns about possible redundancies.

As reported in our January issue, a re-shuffle of the top roles led to the departure of Customer Service & Operations Director Ian Rogers, which (after Sophie Castell left earlier in 2017) brought the number of directors down from nine to seven. CRT has now announced that the 10 Waterway Units – already down by one with the abolition of the Central Shires unit – will be reduced to six, each covering considerably larger areas.

Three of the Waterway Managers who head the Waterway Units – Wendy Capelle (North Wales & Borders), Chantelle Seaborn (North West) and Vicky Martin (South East) were already due to depart by the end of 2017, while other departures include Head of Community Involvement Caroline Killeavy and Head of Boating Mike Grimes earlier in 2017 (only replaced on an interim basis by the secondment of North East Waterway Manager Jon Horsfall). But now CRT has launched a 60-day internal consultation into what it calls a “significant reduction in the size of its senior management team”. Although no details of any redundancies have been given, the Trust had already said that it would begin consultation with the trade unions as appropriate.

CRT said that the aims were “to strengthen the accountability of regional teams” with staff from the current national teams “embedded” in the regions, and to create a structure “to better face the outside world”. Chief executive Richard Parry said the changes were about “re-focusing and simplifying” the Trust, and that “We have to find ways to do more and cost less” for a secure and sustainable future.