On the13th October, BBC "environment"correspondent, Jeremy Cooke wrote a scaremongering piece (Rural Britain fears severe spending cuts) about the Bonfire of the Quangos, in particular the British Waterways Board.
"British Waterways, which is responsible for the upkeep of the canal network, is apparently on the hit-list" bleated Cooke.
Well yes it was, but totally absent from the piece is that BWB was being strangled to death by stealth, by the last government, and not only does the solution to its future finally divest the taxpayer of the burden, but it has been welcomed with open arms by the board themselves, for the solution in question is that the BWB shall become a charity similar to the National Trust. The drip by drip removal of year on year funding, quietly arranged by Labour with no initiative for alternative funding streams, will now be a thing of the past, ensuring a secure future for the Waterways.
This is what the BWB think:
Welcoming the announcement, British Waterways’ chairman Tony Hales, said: "This is excellent news and something we have been urging all political parties to support since last year". (Waterscape)I wrote this over at the Spectator, in November 2008:
The Government is reducing funding, year on year, to BWB (via Defra) by £60 million over five years and by £20 million last year, shaved off the Environment Agency contribution with the aim of making BWB self-sufficient.
It precipitated an online petition at number ten, because waterways users were outraged.
I don't call that an extravagance, I call it a bonfire.
So yes, the BBC slant is that it is all the fault of this vicious nasty Tory/Lib coalition. And they wonder why we so wish that the BBC was first on the bonfire.
NB. My special interest in this is that I owned a narrowboat, and lived on it for two years. Here it is. And for the anoraks, it was a (approximate) 57' trad stern, built by Sagar Marine and extended by Dobson's of Shardlow.