Agenda item


Purpose of the report: To update Members on the work of the Basingstoke Canal authority undertaken since the last meeting of the Joint Management Committee and report its key results indicators.


Declarations of interest:






James Taylor, Strategic Manager Basingstoke Canal
Fiona Shipp, Canal Manager


Key points raised during the discussion:

  1. Officers outlined the work undertaken by the BCA since the last meeting of the JMC. It was highlighted that the service had performed well in an Emergency Plan test exercise and that the BCA had received a team award from Hampshire County Council for an unusually high number of compliments received during 2016. It was also noted that routine maintenance had been undertaken by the service and that the next scheduled tree survey was to take place in late 2017.

  2. Officers noted that it had been a good season for unpowered boat use and that the numbers per trip had increased.

  3. Water levels were highlighted as an issue. Officers explained that the unusually dry spring was a cause for the low levels of water. It was stressed that there was a requirement for a prolonged period of wet weather to resolve this, but that the BCA had implemented measures to lessen the impact that this had upon the canal.

  4. Officers highlighted the Key Results Indicators (KRIs) in the report, noting that a key reason for the red targets in the Red, Amber, Green (RAG) scale, were due to the high targets that were set by the service.

  5. It was noted that the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) status was an area of required improvement. However, it was stressed by officers that the target did not indicate poor performance by the BCA but that the SSSI status had not improved. The need for improvement on this was recognised by the BCA. It was noted that Natural England were the regulatory authority for SSSI condition, and could in theory prosecute if they considered activities were harming the SSSI Members noted the need to work in partnership with Natural England, and stressed that their representative on the JMC should be present to help voice any concerns that they have before issues become acute.

  6. It was stressed that there were no major safety issues on the Canal and that Capital works were resolving any minor safety concerns.

  7. The Committee noted that the BCA should look again at how the KRIs are measured and ensure that they are reported in a meaningful and simple manner for the next report.

  8. Members questioned whether there was any bank damage caused by animals and whether this put significant strain on the service. Officers noted that this was a problem, but that the service had taken measures to alleviate it, highlighting the use of dog steps in some areas.

  9. Officers noted that telemetry project was still ongoing, and that some progress had been made.

  10. The Chairman, on behalf of the Committee, noted it’s thanks to the BCA and highlighted the good progress that was being made over the year.

Actions/further information to be provided:

  1. That the Chairman make representations to the Member representing Natural England to stress the importance of partnership work and request that they attend meetings to highlight concerns raised by Natural England regarding the Canal’s SSSI status.

  2. That the KRIs contain an explanation as to what the targets set by the BCA and for this information to be circulated to the Committee.



Mike Goodman left the meeting at 12.04pm. Andrew Gibson resumed the meeting as Chairman.


Supporting documents: