We have listened to customer feedback around charging over the past year and are committed to engaging with our customers fully about prices for moorings and licences in the future.
As we have said before, Scottish Canals needs to become more financially sustainable and charging fair and reasonable prices for products and services we provide, such as moorings and licences, is an important part of this. It is a simple fact that we don’t have enough money to do all that we would want and like all public sector bodies, given our restricted budgets we face tough decisions about the work we choose to do. However, we can – and will – work with customers to ensure that future price changes are implemented in a sensitive and sensible way.
Following customer feedback, in 2015 we appointed respected property consultants Gerald Eve and GVA, who are working closely with British Marine and RYA Scotland, to carry out an independent review of our current leisure and residential moorings. They will review the market and help to identify prices that are right for each canal as well as a methodology for future price reviews. They are also helping to review the cost of our transit and navigation licences, identifying prices that are appropriate in each market.
Public meetings were set up in February 2016 followed by site visits in April 2016 so that boaters from the Lowlands, Crinan and Caledonian Canals could meet the independent reviewers and engage with the process before a consultation begins in Spring 2016. As this is an independent review, Scottish Canals did not attend any of these sessions.
Gerald Eve and GVA are currently preparing their report, which will be shared with customers for feedback this Spring. We would expect the consultation to be complete and a decision to be made about the prices for each of Scotland’s canals in Summer 2016 with rates being implemented thereafter – no sooner than three months after the end of the consultation.
Any lease due for renewal before this process is complete will be renewed at 2015 prices.
Pre Consultation Sessions:
Public meetings were held in February prior to the report being drafted at the following locations:
- Tuesday 2nd February 2016, Argyll Arms Hotel, Ardrishaig, 6.30 to 8.30pm
- Wednesday 3rd February 2016, The Falkirk Wheel, 6.30 to 8.30pm
- Thursday 4th February 2016, Kingsmill Hotel, Inverness, 6.30 to 8.30pm
The format for these sessions were:
1. Introduction – Panel Members
2. Reasons for the Review
– Why Scottish Canals is undertaking this review
3. Aims of the Review
– How do we create a fair and equitable methodology for leisure and residential mooring prices?
– How do we establish market mooring charges for residential and leisure moorings across the Scottish canal network?
– How do we establish a fair and transparent mechanism for reviewing residential and leisure mooring charges in future years?
– How do we establish a charging structure for longer term leases?
4. Views from the floor
For those boaters who were unable to attend the meetings, written feedback was submitted direct to Gerald Eve until midnight on Sunday 21st February to firstname.lastname@example.org on the following topics:
- How does Scottish Canals create a fair and equitable methodology for leisure and residential mooring prices?
- How does Scottish Canals establish market mooring charges for residential and leisure moorings across the Scottish canal network?
- How does Scottish Canals establish a fair and transparent mechanism for reviewing residential and leisure mooring charges in future years?
- How does Scottish Canals establish a charging structure for longer term leases?
Following feedback from the pre consultation sessions, in April 2016 Gerald Eve undertook an evaluation of the facilities at each significant mooring site on the network on the following dates (please note these times were flexible and should be viewed as a rough guide):
- 11.30am to 12.30pm – Southbank Marina
- 1pm to 2pm – Auchinstarry Marina
- 3pm to 4pm – The Falkirk Wheel
- 4.30pm to 5.30pm – Grangemouth
- 10am to 11am – Leamington Wharf/Lochrin Basin
- 11.30am to 12.30pm – Harrison Park
- 1.30pm to 2.30pm – Ratho
- 3pm to 4pm – Linlithgow
7th April (Crinan Canal)
- 10am – Crinan Basin
- 11am – Bellanoch Marina
- 12noon – Cairnbaan
- 12.20pm – Oakfield Bridge
- 1pm – Ardrishaig and Lock 4
7th April (Caledonian Canal)
- 9.30am – Seaport Marina
- 11am – Dochgarroch
- 1.30pm – Fort Augustus
- 2.30pm – Kytra
- 3pm – Laggan Locks
- 4pm – Gairlochy
- 4.30pm – Banavie
- 5.15pm – Corpach
Scottish Canals is also introducing a Customer Charter which sets out commitment to:
- Delivering fairness for all our customers
- Ensuring value for the public pound and justifying the level of subsidy we give to products & services that we provide
- Reviewing our Appeals Process regularly, which has been introduced and is on our website (bit.ly/SCAppealsProcedure)
- Being open and transparent in the way that we behave
- Becoming financial sustainable and balancing the asset demand with the grant we receive from the Scottish Government as well as the commercial returns we get from revenue-generating activity
- Ensuring the Scottish Canals’ Board is comfortable with our approach at all times
- Delivering this process over an appropriate timescale for both Scottish Canals and our customers
- Seeking external and independent advice for major initiatives
- Consulting and engaging with customers on key issues
- Giving an appropriate notice period prior to any significant changes