CD-Traveller (25 Sept. 2010) referred to a list of quangos that the government was planning to close, merge or retain. Yesterday the “official” list was published. Going through the list of hundreds affecting the holidaymaker and the traveler, we are not sure that we’ll notice much difference.
Starting with Consumer Focus, the body that handles general customer complaints, this will be abolished but its role will be taken over by the Citizens Advice Bureau which most of us are familiar with anyway. Visit Britain and Visit England will remain as will English Heritage and Historic Royal Palaces. A number of museums that I never knew were quangos survive as they are and this extensive list is British Museum, Horniman, Jeffrye, Imperial War, Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry, National Gallery, National Maritime Museum, National Museum of Science and Industry, National Museums Liverpool, National Portrait Gallery, Natural History Museum, Royal Armouries, Sir John Soane’s Tate, Victoria & Albert and finally the Wallace Collection. The Churches Conservation Trust survives as does the Heritage Lottery Fund. (to which attractions and sites can apply for money)
British Waterways which has a brief looking after canals and rivers, over 2,000 miles of them, will be revamped as a charity similar to the National Trust so anglers, narrow boat holidaymakers and others won’t probably notice a great change. In Norfolk, the Broads Authority survives as do all the national parks’ authorities and the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) which is responsible for the ATOL bonding scheme survives so that means, we take it that the body which looks after complaints about airlines/airports, Air Transport Users Council, (AUC) will also survive intact since it comes under their wing.
Passenger Focus is the consumer body for rail and bus issues and they survive but they will be “substantially reformed” to focus on the key role of protecting passengers. We suspect it will take a while before we know what that means.