Scottish Canals Statement of Expenditure 2017/18:
(in accordance with the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010)

  • Payments in excess of £25k – £14,602k
  • Public Relations/Marketing – £169k
  • Overseas Travel – £6k
  • External Consultancy – £0k

Expenditure on Public Relations includes:

  • Advertising
  • Social media
  • Design work
  • Training
  • Subscriptions
  • Event management
  • In-house staff costs
  • Any other promotional activity
Does not include receipt of pension, voluntary severance compromise agreements or redundancy payments
No. of individuals None

Statement of Efficiency, Effectiveness and Economy

Scottish Canals is committed to delivering increased value through improvements in the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of its functions. As part of the Efficient Government Programme, Scottish Canals had a cumulative target of achieving £303k of efficiency savings by the end of the 2017/18 financial year. By the end of this financial year, Scottish Canals had achieved savings of £311k through the implementation of projects which have reduced expenditure and increased efficiency across the organisation, delivered by cumulative efficiencies achieved across a range of projects, specifically contract savings through the use of collaborative contracts as well as bespoke contracts for planned and reactive property maintenance, diving services, and a number of engineering and construction works.

Promotion of Sustainable Growth

The canals of Scotland are part of a working, living waterway network, used for navigation, regeneration, tourism and general recreation. Scottish Canals is committed to integrating the needs of those who visit and use the network with the actions needed to protect and enhance the canal environment and while complying with legislation and regulation, Scottish Canals aims to consistently achieve good practice and continually improve its environmental performance.

Where judgments have to be made between competing resources and conflicting activities, Scottish Canals will take the long term and strategic view. In doing so, it is presumed that this will favour the conservation of the environment.

During 2017/18, there has been continued careful management of environmental impact, including reducing the use of non-renewable resources, minimising waste, conserving water resources, promoting biodiversity and the prevention of pollution.

In support of the ambition to be acknowledged as an expert in achieving the most sustainable integration of the competing needs and uses of the waterways, Scottish Canals’ policies, procedures and systems are under regular review to ensure that environmental practices and performance reflect any changes in business circumstances, relevant legal requirements and stakeholder expectation. Scottish Canals uses the principles of environmental management systems and measure environmental performance through the aims and targets included in the ten year Environment Strategy that is now into its third year.

Our key environmental achievements in 2017/18 are as follows:

Responding to emerging environmental challenges, reducing our impact and enhancing the environment in its widest sense is integral to what Scottish Canals does now and to our future success. Scottish Canals’ Environment Strategy sets out how we intend to deliver sustainable benefits across a range of environmental themes in the period 2015-25 for our customers, the canal network and the wider environment.

Further to this, Scottish Canals’ Corporate Plan 2017-2020 confirmed our ongoing commitment to the highly ambitious Scottish Government targets for climate change mitigation and adaptation. Further details of our progress were published in January 2018, in Scottish Canals’ second statutory Climate Change Duties Report for the year 2016/17. Highlights from the report were:

  • Scottish Canals is included in the Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme as a body responsible for the delivery of the objective ‘to understand the effects of climate change and their impacts on buildings and infrastructure networks’.
  • To fulfil this requirement, an assessment of Scottish Canals assets at risk of climate change was completed in Summer 2017. Assets identified as at being at risk of the effects of climate change have now been included for investigation, and planning and
    if required, implementation within Scottish Canals work programme, as defined by the draft Asset Management Strategy. As part of this work, the first phase of an embankment stabilisation project along a 5 km stretch of the Union Canal at Linlithgow was completed. We shared information about the fish rescue as part of the project, heritage and engineering history of the site at a series of extremely popular public open days.
  • In line with the ambitious targets of the recently published Scottish Government’s Climate Change Plan, Third Report on Proposals and Policies 2018-2032 (RPP3), Scottish Canals installed its first electric vehicle charging points on its estate this year. Funded by the Energy Saving Trust, these contribute directly to the Scottish Government’s aim to decarbonise travel. To complement this, we commenced a vehicle fleet review that aims to reduce our future business travel emissions through the use of Ultra Low Emission and Electric vehicles.
  • To help share knowledge we have also formed valuable partnerships with organisations with common aims to respond to climate change e.g. Membership of Fit for the Future, Climate Ready Clyde and the Metropolitan Glasgow Strategic Drainage Partnership, Sustainable Scotland Network, Central Scotland Green Network.
  • With regard to climate change mitigation, Scottish Canals’ static energy use (electricity, gas and heating oil) was 8% lower in 2016/17 compared to the baseline year of 2013/14. We continue to monitor static energy demand in our key energy using sites.
  • To raise awareness of climate change issues, we took part in the WWF Earth Hour initiative and switched off the floodlights at the Kelpies and The Falkirk Wheel in March 2018. Scottish Canals was delighted to receive the WWF Earth Hour Public Body Runner up Award for 2017.
  • As part of Scottish Canals’ adaptation to Climate Change, we are involved in the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)’s River Basin Management Planning process and Flood Risk Management Process. We also promote the Scottish Canal network for sustainable urban drainage system (SUDS) projects. In the reporting year, The North Glasgow Integrated Water Management System, an innovative flood alleviation system funded by the European Regional Development Fund’s Green Infrastructure Strategic Intervention for the Canal and North Gateway site in Glasgow was designed and procured and is expected to start construction in 2018.
  • The Canal and North Gateway project is a project to enhance greenspace along the Forth & Clyde Canal in Glasgow including the creation of a local nature reserve and an innovative water management solution.

Scottish Canals continues to work closely with its contractors to increase the rate of recycling of our general waste. Scottish Canals was also on the steering group developing the new Code of Practice for Litter and Refuse due for publication later this year. This code focuses on the value of education and prevention measures to reduce the level of littering across Scotland, including our waterways.

Scottish Canals is grateful for the support from volunteers and partners to improve the value of the canal network for wildlife in the reporting year. With funds from Scottish Natural Heritage and practical support from Buglife and Falkirk Council, we planted a new wildflower meadow and hedgerow at the eastern terminus of the Forth & Clyde Canal near the Kelpies. Our regular Twitter ‘Wildlife Wednesdays’ feature brought canal wildlife to a wider audience of over 112,000 thousand people in 2017.

There were no significant environmental pollution events on land, air or water in 2017/18 and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) assessed Scottish Canals’ water use licence compliance for 2016 as good or excellent for all five canals and our waste water treatment sites.

Procurement – Sustainability criteria were applied to all relevant contracts. We sell local food and crafts at our retail outlets. Community Benefits are now being incorporated into new contracts where applicable to provide additional ways of benefitting the local area in terms of Social, Economic and Environmental improvements. Procurement recruited a Modern Apprentice to assist in the running of the department and to further the aims of developing opportunities for young people.