About the Trust Trust News
Update from the Chairman John Laverick
Monday, 01 June 2009 00:00

Another Chapter Begins

Another chapter has begun today in the restoration process of the Wilts & Berks Canal. Following three years as the Trust's energetic and successful Chief Executive, Ken Oliver today started in his new role as Canal Officer with the new Wiltshire Council.

Ken has achieved much in the last three years and I am confident that from his new seat with all the resources and back up available at County Hall he will be able to achieve many more times that amount over the next three years.

As discussed at the last three meetings of Council of Management, we are not losing Ken as a resource for restoration but some things will inevitably be done differently for example he will not be attending all the WBCT committees on the same regular basis but will be keeping in touch, subject to the direction of his new 'masters'. As Ken says it will take a few weeks for the new arrangements to settle down. Council has already discussed some possible changes and Chris Coyle is drafting a paper on contingency issues. One thing is certain, Ken will be reporting regularly to each meeting of Council of Management.

The office will continue to function under Justine and Ann's stewardship. Staff management issues for Justine will likely fall towards Chris and those for Ann towards Peter Kinsman. There will be slight changes in roles for many of us as we adapt to filling some of Ken's former functions that cannot sensibly transfer with him. We must not hurry into these changes but adapt as circumstances dictate.

Royal Visit

I would also like to comment on the tremendous success of our Patron's visit. Thank you to all of you who participated in making the event such a success. I think that Her Royal Highness genuinely enjoyed her time with us and on departure commented to me that if she could help in any way in the future then we were to contact her office. As a consequence of the day, central funds have already been boosted by the generous donation of £5000 from a personal friend of HRH who was much impressed with our restoration project. The Trust has also received letters expressing good will towards the project from some of those who attended the double event (Double Bridge and Bowood). We must not lose the momentum generated by the day and I know that this is uppermost in Ken's mind and will be part of the agenda at the next Partnership Meeting to be held next week.

John Laverick