Remember this .....
I made a formal complaint to C&RT and after a false start they were very professional in investigating the complaint at their level one stage. The outcome was that they accepted they had very poor control of their contractors, their work procedures and their follow ups to complaints re vegetation management and boat damage. Fountains were paying customers ad hoc for damage resulting in little contract management by C&RT.
My complaint flagged this and steps have been taken to have better procedures and safe systems of work. I have them if you wish to see them.
When they broke windows on my previous boat - twice.... they advised I needed to complete a vegetation management refusal form which I did that was fountain own procedural document and meant in effect nothing. What you need to know is if you do not wish to have the grass cut adjacent to your boat while on a permanent mooring (such as Percy's) or when on any towpath mooring you need to have one of these signs in your window.....
If you want the PDF file let me know and I'll email it over to you.
This is the now agreed way that C&RT and their contractors will manage the process of vegetation management by your boat.
I was not satisfied with the suggested outcome of meeting with C&RT's contractors Fountains to take the issue of potential damage further. In my industry we have to employ competent contractors, I cited this concern to C&RT furthermore after taking legal advice I was advised that my contract was with C&RT not Fountains for my mooring so I refused to engage with Fountains and asked they reconsider their response. This resulted in me escalating the complaint to level 2 (they have three levels the last one being the water ombudsman)
Julie Sharman Executive Head of Asset Management and Performance got in touch and we had a very productive telephone call before Christmas and with agreement a delayed formal response in the New Year. She re read the file and the first stage response and upheld my second level complaint writing ...
In respect of your complaint I have reached the decision that you have not received the level of service that you should have expected to receive as our customer.
Julie offered a guarantee to repair any damage as it appeared. I considered this but felt it too subjective and not clear enough (for the trust). I asked that the boat be inspected for damage and a report provided by my boat surveyor which was accepted. This way if there is no damage then the trust and I can put this issue to bed with all the learning points for C&RT in their contract management, their complaints handling and also for Fountains to have some safe systems of work - and consistency of approach to incidents.
So I am waiting for Balliol (the marine surveyor who surveyed all my boats to date) to be contracted by C&RT to visit Percy, examine the paintwork and provide a report on the paint condition and use his expert opinion on what if any damage may appear in what is considered a reasonable time-scale. A totally independent approach and if C&RT need it an expert witness for them to recover their costs from Fountains the process will have provided this.
To date I have been treated with great respect and courtesy. The Trust have worked with me to get to this mutually agreed position. Julie has been exactly what I would have wished for in the way she has obviously considered the second level complaint and the evidence around it.
I am confident we will have a defined outcome we can both work to and all the boaters on the cut - if they know of the veg signs can have their boat left in peace and undamaged by Fountains or whoever is the contractor engaged.
I will update this circumstance when the surveyor has been and inspected the boat.