The charity making life better by water

Annual Public Meeting 2023

This year we hosted our Annual Public Meeting online where we invited you to submit questions to our chief executive and chair.

If you were unable to catch the live stream, you can view the entire meeting in the recording below.

This year’s Annual Public Meeting attracted questions across a wide range of topics. Our Chair, David Orr CBE, explained that there were too many to answer during the meeting but that we’d reply via email to all who had submitted questions. We will go back to those who have submitted questions with direct responses but have also published the broader themed questions and responses below.

Questions answered in the Meeting

Please view the Meeting to hear these questions and answers.


  • Will there be a budget shortfall on this year's spending?

Commercial performance

  • Please comment on recent commercial performance, where there appears to have been reductions both in the capital value of the endowment and the revenue contribution from commercial sources.

Reduced government funding: the sale of heritage buildings and freight wharfs

  • Will the reduction in government funding necessitate the Trust disposing of assets to contribute towards the shortfall, specifically non-operational heritage buildings and current or potential freight wharves?

Use of contractors

  • Why pay contractors to carry out jobs in place of doing it in-house? Presumably there aren’t any links between directors of the Trust and its contractors?

Use of funding/performance

  • Regarding the Fund Britain’s Waterways campaign, how can you give people confidence that the Trust is using its available funding wisely?

Executive Salary costs

  • Do you publish details of your employee salary costs for the chief executive and other senior managers?

Licence fee surcharges

  • What evidence is there that continuous cruisers make more use of the navigations and facilities, and incur more costs to the Trust? How will the changes be applied to those taking winter moorings, how much income will the surcharges raise, and why not increase all licence fees to raise the same amount?
  • Why are you imposing further surcharges on widebeam licences?

Legislative changes

  • What areas of potential legislative reform and policy change is the Trust pursuing with the Government, with the aim of reducing costs or generating income?

Towpath moorings/use of the space

  • Where are the rules about the use of the towpath for storage by boat owners, and the use of the towpath by motorbikes?

Additional Questions with Answers

Last Edited: 03 November 2023

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