Open letter to CW

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quicky
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Open letter to CW

Post by quicky »

Richard Harvey has stepped down as CEO of Canoe Wales. I have heard that, being an avid supporter of open access, he was unable to reconcile the CT charging policy with Canoe Wales` stated policy on access.



01 February 2014
Dear Emma,
I haven't yet had a chance to congratulate you for your election as interim chair for Canoe Wales and must
apologise that this email has to be so direct.

I fully appreciate the difficulties you and the board face at this time. With access having such a prescribed
timeline that isout of Canoe Wales hands, this matter is one of considerable importance. I was
disappointed to read and hear many of the things from Canoe Wales in recent weeks, and whilst
some items could be misinterpreted it would seem at this point there is a total u-turn on Canoe Wales
stated policy and position on access. Access has been a core strategic objective for many years and is one
that is needed by all paddlers in and across Wales. I believe Canoe Wales has historically done a great job
in this role, and has an important part to play in delivering the members interests in this area. However, as
you are also aware, I personally cannot reconcile the difficult situation this creates alongside the Boards
commercial desires. There are a number of us with many years of experience and contacts within the access section of
paddlesport who feel very strongly that Canoe Wales needs to take a quick and decisive action to re-iterate
the stated policy position. You are no doubt aware of the imminent nature of the political position from
Welsh Government, the impact of the current release from Canoe Wales (via CT) on strategic partners and
the fact that this one action could lead to the same situation experienced during the drafting of CRoW
legislation. Namely, if water remains contentious and there is discord from within paddlesport, inland water
as a part of the countryside review may well be excluded from what is set to be a generational opportunity
for us. To give those not in favour of increase access any ground for advance
at this stage is not strategically astute. You'll understand that there are many people collectively with decades of experience
who are not prepared to let this happen. Due to the time pressures around this, I unfortunately need to make time limited requests to ensure that this can be brought back on track.

Please confirm by the end of business on Monday, but preferably sooner, that
1. Canoe Wales will confirm access policy has not changed

2. A statement be released on ALL websites that payment at the Tryweryn relates only to facility on
the upper managed section of the river.

3.
Canoe Wales will maintain the continuity of access representation, with people who have
progressed the current campaign to this point, in line with the access policy laid out in 2008.


If this is not a possible position for Canoe Wales to take, for whatever reason, may I suggest that the other
alternative is to issue a statement that focuses on three clear points?

1. Canoe Wales recognises the need for all paddlers to be represented in access matters, regardless
of membership. Canoe Wales' commercial and governing body roles places the organisation in an
irreconcilable conflict for its members interests

2. Canoe Wales welcomes the formation of a new, independent body to represent all those with an
interest in water related recreation in Wales (including paddlesport) for the purpose of fulfilling the
Welsh Governments stated aims and programme for Countryside access.

3. Canoe Wales recognises that this new body is the appropriate body to represent
paddlesports interests in all appropriate fora and consultations on public countryside access in Wales.

If the latter option is the more palatable, then I can furnish you with some details relating to the new independent body so that the statement allows quick and clear progress for those who paddle within Wales.

I am meeting with Phil on Canoe Wales Conwy Hydro business at 11 am on Monday in Coed y Brenin. If it
were useful for you to discuss this I would be happy to meet with you and Phil immediately after this
meeting.

Alternatively I am available on my personal mobile 07817 761125 at a time that suits you.

I look forward to hearing from you soon and am hopeful that you can assert and clarify the above items.
Yours sincerely,

Ashley

Ashley Charlwood

axeman
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Re: Open letter to CW

Post by axeman »

cw imploding, where is the statment have been promised , ash may be right maybe the access campaign is to impotant for a govening body that is tearing itself apart and going against its policys ,

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Re: Open letter to CW

Post by Strad »

Anglers across England and Wales must be jumping up and down with joy at our governing bodies incapability to care about anything except for elite sport and cash.
Old School?? I miss my AQII..
Graham Stradling

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Re: Open letter to CW

Post by StoneWeasel »

Is CW now run by the fishing lobby?

I can't see many moves that would have been more damaging to our cause and more beneficial to theirs than what is currently happening.

They will be asking paddlers to negotiate access agreements next!

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Re: Open letter to CW

Post by icklepaddler »

CW had the right approach to access and as a CE member I could only look on enviously.

I now look on and despair at this retrograde step, especially as this is the best opportunity in years to clarrify / secure anew access.

If only I had enough faith in BCU to step in and take the lead. Alas they always appear too busy on other things to engage with membership and take a strong, positive approach to resolving the access issue.

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Re: Open letter to CW

Post by Strad »

StoneWeasel wrote:Is CW now run by the fishing lobby?

I can't see many moves that would have been more damaging to our cause and more beneficial to theirs than what is currently happening.

They will be asking paddlers to negotiate access agreements next!
It does make you wonder whether they've had some back handers somewhere.
Old School?? I miss my AQII..
Graham Stradling

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Re: Open letter to CW

Post by Mark R »

CW appear to have lost the plot.

I hope Ash's letter gets the response he is looking for.
Mark Rainsley
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quicky
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Re: Open letter to CW

Post by quicky »

From Ash on FB.
Welsh Government has committed to a unique opportunity to review access legislation. A recent press release from the National White Water Centre has been controversial and potentially damaging to this review. Please see the petition, sign if you can support this and circulate to your friends. This needs a quick response (by Tuesday next week) - look out for the confirmation email after signing. http://www.petitions24.com/canoe_wales_open_access
Canoe Wales Open Access
www.petitions24.com

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Re: Open letter to CW

Post by Mark R »

Mark Rainsley
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Re: Open letter to CW

Post by Chalky723 »

I've signed the petition and, as my new home insurance provider will cover my kayaks and paddles, I shall not be renewing my BCU Membership this year as I refuse to facilitate idiocy and will vote with my feet.

C
Jackson Nirvana, LL Remix 69, BMW F650GS...

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Re: Open letter to CW

Post by morsey »

I'm seeing all the people who have consistently researched, petitioned, presented and generally worked for access, progressing us to a stage in Wales where there have been noticeable improvements, stepping away from Canoe Wales. Regardless of the finances for Canolfan Tryweryn or the Politics within Canoe Wales, the issue of access in general to the outdoors in Wales is a much more significant consideration and as such the petition gets my support.

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Re: Open letter to CW

Post by morsey »

You said you did not want separate charges for parking and the facilities: We have listened.
You said the differential between members and non-members was too great: We have listened.
You said you wanted a bit more for your money: We have listened.
You said you wanted a reduced rate for clubs: We have listened.


From the 1st March 2014 the facility fee will be £7.00 for National Governing Body (NGB) members and £14.00 for non-members.

In return this fee will cover use of all parts of the facility, including parking.


There has been no change to Canoe Wales Access Policy.


http://www.ukrafting.co.uk/blog/facilit ... ter-centre

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Re: Open letter to CW

Post by SimonMW »

Image

No mention of the main objection people have with the fee. That being that they are charging to use the water!

ChrisE
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Re: Open letter to CW

Post by ChrisE »

Looks to me like they've taken note of all the people saying that they'd pay for car parking, and not for the centre use.
And thus they've made it all in one, so that they can claim you are using the facilities by parking, and thus have a case if you choose not to pay.

Also the change that they have made has it more expensive for BCU etc members if more than 2 are in a car.

So basically in response to people complaining about charging, they've put the price up for BCU members. All be it whilst putting down the cost for non-members, but not so much as to make people more happy (in my random guess of reactions).
And have given them selves some recourse to take people to court for not paying by including parking in the fee.

This feels very much like they are saying this is our centre we can do what we like with it. And because you've all moaned so much we are going to make it worse for you.

I'm now less like to go to the Tryweryn than I was when they first announced the return of the facilities charge.

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Re: Open letter to CW

Post by morsey »

Canoe Wales and partners have invested £1.25 million in the NWWC over the last 30 years to develop the finest facility of its kind in the UK. Without the NWWC this river would not be paddleable and without the NWWC we would not be able to support paddlesport across Wales.
Needs transparency as to the partners aspect!?!

Plus there is no clear identification of whether CW are claiming the river to be part of the facilities or not. That separation needs to be made, else it appears as though CW are charging for access! And when CW make that separation it will follow that there is still Open Access on the Tryweryn, currently it is ambiguous at best!

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Re: Open letter to CW

Post by Voodoo »

yea good luck to them with that,

so in essence parking is now £7 - £14 a day ? since they offer me nothing more,


I really don't use the T much at all but I am more likely to go once they start charging just to make the point that I will not pay
This is not the repose you are looking for ~ Obi-Wan Kenobi

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Re: Open letter to CW

Post by JoshOvki »

so in essence parking is now £7 - £14 a day ? since they offer me nothing more,
Even worse than that. it is £7 - £14 per person in the car! Full car of non-members that is £56!

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Re: Open letter to CW

Post by ChrisE »

To be fair they have said something about periodic paddler shuttles.
And that does include the showers.

Now if they had made a statement something along the lines of the following then I'd be far more tempted back.

"There have been many questions and feedback about the new facilities charge.

We can confirm that the river in itself is not considered to be a facility. However from time to time we do need to pay for guaranteed releases for specific events. These will be mainly funded by revenue returned from the events. We do also spend money on improving the river features.

The charge will cover the use of the centre, showers, toilets, and parking. Further more the charge will now allow the introduction of a shuttle bus for paddlers, allowing paddlers to egress at the bottom, throw their boats on a trailer, hop in a bus and get back to the top. This bus will initially run at weekends, but if there is enough demand during the week it will be run then as well.

Further more having read the comments we are revising the charges to be:
£7 for NGB members (to include parking)
£14 for non NGB members (to include parking)
£7 for pre-booked NGB affiliated club members on club trips (to include parking)
£3 for just parking, for those paddling the lower section of the river, or those not shuttling

The payment can be made at reception, where you will be issued with a tag for your helmet/BA, and a parking ticket, and a code for the showers.
The tag will be checked on the shuttle bus, and periodically cars will be checked for the parking fee."

ps. I know I could have used a quote to separate it out better but I didn't want people to read it thinking that it had come from CT.

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Re: Open letter to CW

Post by Adrian Cooper »

Of course they’re not stupid, they just think we are.

What you have just seen is a sleight of hand where the magician shows you how the trick is done.

No, we didn’t want car parking and facilities charges wrapped into one, we wanted the car parking separated so if we didn’t use any of the other facilities, we didn’t have to pay for them.

These days I rarely use the top section, I have never used the changing rooms in all the years I have been there, I might have used the toilet once or twice.

I can tell you I’m not paying £7 to park my car when it costs £3 in Bala!

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Re: Open letter to CW

Post by ChrisE »

A cynic would question whether they'd planed it all, and the reaction people would give and the ease to slip back to the old charging system, and the hope that people would accept it as better, and then stop moaning.

Also good luck to them finding out which cars have and haven't paid for parking this scheme...
Last edited by ChrisE on Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Open letter to CW

Post by Voodoo »

Adrian Cooper wrote:
What you have just seen is a sleight of hand where the magician shows you how the trick is done.

!
exactly! Smoke and mirrors was what sprung to mind for me to on this to
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Re: Open letter to CW

Post by quicky »

IF they said the access policy has not changed you could technically park in a layby and walk to the river. As you are not using facilities....

I need clarification on the access position they are undertaking.

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Re: Open letter to CW

Post by icklepaddler »

No answer as yet re if the charge is to cover the lower section, but I love this post on facebook:

Hang on, so what your saying is that as its now proposed to be all one charge then Doris and Gerald who are coming along on a family outing to spectate their grand children who are your rafting customers will have to pay £28 to park their car and use the "facilities"?

The management decisions at CT do appear rather questionable.

Perhaps the answer is to let the centre close. CW or BCU could to talk to the water company about them arranging more release on the weekends at greater flow and less in the working week / night time hours. Once that service to the community is arranged then all that is needed is a webcam or a bod within the water company to update a webpage. Bobs your uncle, fannys your aunt and the water company could even keep all the money from the car park - which we should all pay without question if set at a reasonable rate.

Simples!

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quicky
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Re: Open letter to CW

Post by quicky »

From FB
Mark Williamson Site fee lets you go wherever and do what you wish on the site, allows use of main building, car parking, first aid facilities if required
Charge IS for lower section as well.... Interesting considering the lease....

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Re: Open letter to CW

Post by paddletastic2 »

Chalky723 wrote:I've signed the petition and, as my new home insurance provider will cover my kayaks and paddles, I shall not be renewing my BCU Membership this year as I refuse to facilitate idiocy and will vote with my feet.

C
BCU and Canoe Wales are separate organisations.

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Re: Open letter to CW

Post by kayaker101 »

ChrisE wrote: £3 for just parking, for those paddling the lower section of the river, or those not shuttling

The tag will be checked on the shuttle bus, and periodically cars will be checked for the parking fee."
Is the shuttle from Bala back to CT?

£3 for the lower section, what do they class as lower?

How will they check paddling cars vs rafters cars (existence of a roof rack does not prove a paddler)
Chris Lowndes

ChrisE
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Re: Open letter to CW

Post by ChrisE »

kayaker101 wrote:
ChrisE wrote: £3 for just parking, for those paddling the lower section of the river, or those not shuttling

The tag will be checked on the shuttle bus, and periodically cars will be checked for the parking fee."
Is the shuttle from Bala back to CT?

£3 for the lower section, what do they class as lower?

How will they check paddling cars vs rafters cars (existence of a roof rack does not prove a paddler)
That was a suggested alternative, not the actual situation.


However this quote may interest you:
Mark Williamson wrote:Clarity: If you want to park your car and go lower the car park machines will still be there. Doris et al in the car park pay car park only as they, in all likelihood won't need showers, duty first aoider, gas, air etc. etc

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Re: Open letter to CW

Post by Wildwood Wil »

Oh dear, now they are going to make me and my young children (as well as many others and their families) park on the deadly road to unload our paddling gear and risk getting mullored by 60mph+ traffic. What a bunch of..........(please finish this sentence yourself!)

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Re: Open letter to CW

Post by Adrian Cooper »

Mark Williamson wrote:Clarity: If you want to park your car and go lower the car park machines will still be there. Doris et al in the car park pay car park only as they, in all likelihood won't need showers, duty first aoider, gas, air etc. etc
Even if you ignore the obvious typos, this doesn't really make sense and I am guessing they don't mean what you think you are reading, ie. that if you are not using the facilities, you don't need to pay other than for parking. I am sure they intend this to apply to casual spectators but it doesn't say so.

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Re: Open letter to CW

Post by ChrisE »

He did also later write a longer rambling post, which summed up more or less as:

Yes if you want to just pay for parking you technically will be able to
Help us to keep going and use our facilities so we have the money to keep going and improve.
If you pay we'll be able to add more services like the shuttle bus to the aid of paddlers.

Which is more or less the vision with which I would run the site, I'd probably have ended up with some form of similar charge for the shuttle bus and showers. I'd just have been very clear about it all from the start about what was charged and what wasn't.

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