When Richard Parry came into office late last year he issued his manifesto for the Canal &Rivers Trust.He inherited an organisation which had seen considerable change in the way it operated on the ground - experienced and dedicated employees replaced by third-party specialists. Meanwhile the management had entrenched itself in an attitude which appeared to boaters to be secretive, stubborn, inept and self-serving. You only need to read Narrowboatworld.com to gauge the feelings of the more vociferous boaters. Out on the cut the feeling has grown that some of Mr Parry's team were not really in the same team.However we have recently seen Sally Ash announce her surprise decision to take early retirement and Jeff Whyatt's promotion from managing the SE waterways to head up BWML - the commercial marina division of C&RT. We attended Richard Parry's meet the boaters session in Banbury . He was making the right sort of noises but as my American friends would say:
"He can talk the talk but can he walk the walk?"
Time will tell but early signs are promising.