The independent London newspaper

Canal charity is behaving just like a greedy landlord

27 July, 2018

Boat-dwellers Julian Green, Simon Hodgkinson and Sarah LaBrasca fear higher fees will hit canal community

• YOU report that “the charity says some mooring fees have fallen behind the market rate. To raise money to maintain the canal, it needs to raise prices”, (Canal living to be sunk by a hike in fees, July 20).

In the 2017 annual report, the Canal and River Trust boasts openly that its properties return a greater-than-market rate. One of its many wholly-owned subsidiaries reports that “return on average capital… (is) 7.3 per cent” (up from 4.6 per cent in the previous year) and that it will “continue to drive for maximum return from its existing marinas”.

Also, the Canal and River Trust is not really short of money; it has just spent some £60,000 on rejigging its logo while canals near London are choked with weed and the locks and the environs are neglected and rundown throughout the system.

The trust is not now behaving like a charity at all, it’s behaving like a greedy landlord threatening long-term tenants with eviction and homelessness unless they cough up exorbitant fees.

Its trustees, who include Prince Charles, need seriously to consider their position and whether they want to continue to be associated with it.

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