The communiqué from the North South Ministerial Council inland waterways meeting held on 19 June 2013 is here. This is my selection of the interesting bits.
The NSMC got reports on WI’s additional moorings (368m during some unspecified period), sponsorship programme, maintenance (“with 99.8% of waterways remaining open during the month of April”), publications (food guide and What’s On 2013) and website.
The WI business plan for 2012 was approved, which seems a bit pointless in the middle of 2013. A budget of €31.15m (£27.10m) was approved for an unspecified year. Then there’s this oddity:
5. They also noted progress on the development of the 2013 Business Plan and budget. Following approval by Sponsor Departments and Finance Ministers the plan will be brought forward for approval at a future NSMC meeting.
This is the middle of 2013. The next NSMC inland waterways meeting will be held in September 2013. What is the point of approving the budget and business plan for 2013 three quarters of the way through the year?
And another point: why is it taking so long? My guess is that, if things were running smoothly, and allocations were easy, the work would have been finished by now, so I deduce that WI’s budget is under pressure, with consequences for its future activity and thus its business plan.
The NSMC “noted” WI’s annual report and draft accounts for 2012; they’re not on its website, so presumably someone else has to note them as well before they can be published.
The unfortunate Bastables seeking treasure to pay for the Clones Sheugh had their second meeting in May 2013 (their first was in September 2012). In the absence of any GB, and with half-sovereigns rather scarce, the Bastables have adopted the “Lo! the poor Indian” strategy:
[…] sponsor departments have agreed to examine the potential social benefits and leveraged funding opportunities in that context.
The NSMC decided that Waterways Ireland won’t have a Board but will think about governance again some time. And it appointed Dawn Livingstone as WI CEO.