PRESS RELEASE: Richard Benyon Wins IWA Parliamentarian of the Year Award

Issue date: 4th November 2015

The Inland Waterways Association has named former Waterways Minister, Richard Benyon, as the Association's Parliamentarian of the Year 2015 at a function at the House of Commons on Tuesday 3rd November.

The MP for Newbury, who was Minister during the transfer of more than half the country's navigations from British Waterways to Canal & River Trust, has retained a strong interest in the inland waterways and was recently elected as Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Waterways.

Presenting the award, IWA National Chairman, Les Etheridge, said:  “The support our inland waterways get from so many politicians always makes this a difficult decision and this year has been no different. Transferring inland waterways from government to charity control with an appropriate funding package was a brave and wise decision which recognised what volunteers bring to the waterways, and it is this as well as Richard’s continuing involvement in the waterways that make him this year’s IWA Parliamentarian of the Year.”

One of the main topics at the dinner was the future transfer of the navigations currently run by the Environment Agency to Canal & River Trust. Subject to a satisfactory funding package, this would enable those waterways to benefit from improved maintenance through long term asset management plans, third party funding opportunities and the economies of scale to be gained from being part of a larger navigation authority. At present, despite the efforts of EA staff locally who are coping with reducing budgets, many river navigations run by EA are deteriorating due to lack of maintenance.


ENDS

Photographs

Photo: Richard Benyon MP receives IWA's Parliamentarian of the Year Awardn from IWA National Chairman, Les Etheridge. For a high resolution version please email Alison Smedley alison.smedley@waterways.org.uk or phone 07779 090915.

Press Contact

For more information please contact Alison Smedley, Press Office, The Inland Waterways Association, by emailing alison.smedley@waterways.org.uk or phone 07779 090915.

Notes for Editors

The Inland Waterways Association (IWA), a registered charity, leads campaigns to conserve, maintain and restore Britain’s network of canal and river waterways. With a membership of around 16,000, IWA provides a strong voice for waterways users, working with navigation authorities, local and national government and other organisations to keep all our waterways alive.
www.waterways.org.uk

Photo: Richard Benyon MP (l) receives IWA's Parliamentarian of the Year Awardn from IWA National Chairman, Les Etheridge (r).

For a high resolution version please email Alison Smedley alison.smedley@waterways.org.uk or phone 07779 090915.