Chris Howes

Chairman Eastern Region

I’ve spent most of my life on, and often unintentionally in, the water, messing about in boats. A couple of years ago I graduated from small self propelled boats up to larger motorised boat, when my wife and I bought a narrowboat, which we keep on the Middle Level. The boat and I are these days rarely parted!

I am now approaching 60 and having retired after nearly 20 years as a local authority councillor, I welcomed the new experiences and challenges that came with boat ownership and IWA membership. I’m a committee member at Peterborough Branch and have thrown myself enthusiastically into branch activities, including work parties and the recent successful campaign cruise to Welches Dam. I have also been using skills acquired and honed in my days as a councillor to correspond with the Waterways Minister and challenge the actions of the E.A. in closing navigation. Between all this, we’ve found time to do some ‘serious’ boating. Our ‘lock tally’ last year exceeded 900 locks!

I believe it is important for the region to talk with one voice, not least in the light of the current E.A. threats to navigation in the region. If elected I intend to visit the committees of the region’s other 4 branches, to learn what are the individual branches’ concerns and aspirations. I will consulate with branches on whether they want to resume a cycle of regional meetings, or whether this function can be fulfilled in this modern age by electronic communication and ‘virtual’ meetings.