The real reason behind the cuts in the British Waterways budget

Home » Latest News » The real reason behind the cuts i

Following Tuesday's story about the group formed to fight the cuts in funding of the canal system, a local resident has pointed out to Audlem Online that the cuts in British Waterways budget by Defra is largely the result of the chaos at the Rural Payments Agency. This is the organisation that pays out EU subsidies and money owed to farmers. This year's lengthy delays in payments meant that many rural communities in Britain were pushed to near financial collapse, with farmers owed £1.6 billion in EU subsidies.

The chaos resulted in a potential fine on the UK Government of £141 million by the European Union. This fine has meant that other Defra budgets have had to be cut, including the funds for the maintenance of the canal system.

The farm payments problem arose despite the then Secretary of State, Margaret Beckett, being warned in June 2005 that the project was off course and yet did nothing. The agency's then chief executive was sacked but kept on full pay for six months after his dismissal. The Secretary of State involved was, ahem, promoted to the post of Foreign Secretary.

Research has revealed, however, that others did lose their jobs at the Rural Payments Agency. Four staff were booted out and a further five received written and verbal warnings, not because of the late payments, but because they were caught vaulting over office filing cabinets in the nude!

If it weren't true, it would almost be funny, but that, in a nutshell, is why the canal system will suffer a 15% budget cut this year, our correspondent points out.

 

popular recent storiesAlso in the news

Billy Gibbons
Sat 16 Nov 6:07am  |  hits: 914

Hello. Audlem is yet again featured on national TV!Tuesday 19th November at 3.00pmChannel 4 HD (and probably at 4pm on Channel 4+1)Season 4, Episode 2 of Find It Fix It Flog ItSimon O'Brien and Max McMurdo head for Crewe to meet rock and roller Billy, who lives in a house that is frozen in time in the...

fireworks
Sat 16 Nov 6:08am  |  hits: 685

The New Years Eve event We aim to mark the passing of the year 2019 in traditional manner as we have so done since we welcomed in the new millennium in 2000. Apart for the one year when it did not happen!.This year we are again well on track to enjoy the camaraderie of being in the Square at Midnight on the 31st .I am close to receiving the needed funds and I urge all who wish to give their...

greys bridge
Sun 17 Nov 6:08am  |  hits: 652

The bridge from Green Lane into Turnpike Field, known as Grey's Bridge has been reinstated after being swept away by the recent floods.The 'Footpath Closed' sign has been removed but that on the canal end of the footpath remains.Unsurprisingly the lower part of the field remains very slippery and muddy, negotiable only with care.For previous report on AudlemOnline click...