IWA Bulletin Mid-February 2011

Top Story

IWA Meet Minister Over NWC 'Concerns'

IWA's Campaigns team led by national chairman Clive Henderson met with the Waterways Minister Richard Benyon MP on the 15th February to discuss concerns over the New Waterways Charity.

Whilst IWA has been consistently supportive of the general approach to the formation of a national Waterways Charity, and welcomes the decisions that the charity should receive the British Waterways property portfolio in full and that a long term government contract will be put in place for funding. IWA is concerned that the arrangements must be right for the charity to succeed and that is why IWA’s support has always been subject to certain qualifications.

IWA maintains that these qualifications are fundamentals without which the charity will struggle, perhaps terminally, namely:

  • The charity must start life with a viable funding package.
  • The best prospects for the charity are served by inclusion of the Environment Agency waterways.
  • The governance arrangements must be right to ensure that British Waterways undergoes the necessary changes to reflect its change in status and so that civil society in its widest sense really does have the opportunity to contribute to the sound management and operation of the waterways network.

IWA told the Minister that it was deeply concerned about the Spending Review 2010 funding arrangements announced on 20 December. The cuts were far deeper and earlier than expected and without indexation. IWA said that it had asked British Waterways how it intended to deal with reduced grant under Freedon of Information and the anticipated reduction in capital spend was very worrying. The charitable body was going to be launched with an extremely fragile funding package gravely jeopardising its prospects. 

IWA speculated that the funding might be a stumbling block for future trustees to accept, thus preventing the launch of the charity.
On the Environment Agency navigations, IWA has made it clear that it sees significant benefits in their incorporation into the network that the charity will inherit. IWA maintain this is necessary for several reasons:

  • Firstly, it helps cement a national identity for the waterways, ensuring that some 70% of the navigable waterways in the country become integrated under the NWC umbrella.
  • Secondly, IWA believes it makes sense to place all of the nationally funded navigations into the same organisation for reasons of simplifying funding arrangements on the public purse (why continue to fund EA navigations separately?).
  • Thirdly, Injecting the EA navigations signals that this is not a BW project or a ‘rebranding’ under another name, but something genuinely new.
  • And lastly, IWA believes that it is necessary to have a strong brand that can be marketed as the national waterways organisation. Without the EA’s inclusion, this proposition is substantially diluted and public confusion will exist about the extent and nature of the organisation.          

On governance, the soundings so far do not convince IWA that the energy and input from local communities will be harnessed. The proposals as understood by IWA are a barrier to localism.

IWA closed by saying that the future management of the waterways offered opportunities for a successful Big Society flagship project. But only if its concerns, as outlined at the meeting, were properly addressed.

This was not a meeting when IWA could expect a response to its representations. Richard Benyon had agreed to meet IWA before the Defra consultation has been issued to give him and officials an opportunity to reflect on the arguments. The Minister listened intently to the substance of our concerns, commenting and questioning throughout the exchanges. We will see to what extent Defra takes on board our concerns when the consultation document is issued.    

IWA News

IWA lobbying of MPs on New Waterway Charity issues.

IWA's Campaigns team has had recent meetings with both Labour and Conservative MPS , and has specifically been in direct discussions with former Waterways ministers the Rt Hon Alun Michael MP ( Labour) and Tony Baldry MP ( Conservative ) regarding IWA's concerns over the NWC and also with regards to reinstigating the All Party Parliamentary Waterways Group.

IWA and BW meet to discuss Boating Policy issues

IWA campaigns team met with Sally Ash, Head of BW boating to discuss a number of concerns relating to boating policy recently: Specifically to understand more about progress with BW’s local Mooring Strategies, and the apparent lack of movement forward on the Kennet and Avon, and to understand where other work is currently beginning undertaken. IWA was informed a draft consultation was in the process of being issued for the Lee and Stort. IWA also discussed the issues surrounding the proposals for building a new marina on the Montgomery canal potentially restricting numbers of boats that would be allowed to enter this can through Frankton locks, and also means to alleviate overcrowding on busy parts of the system generally.

IWA Parliamentary Dinner 2011

IWA's Parliamentary Dinner has been arranged for the 8th March. Early indications are that it will be well attended by MPs of all parties.

Northgate Locks Open Day

Northgate Locks in Chester were recently drained for gate replacement and maintenance.   Local British Waterways’ manager, Wendy Capelle, used the opportunity to publicise their engineers work by holding Northgate Locks Open Day on Saturday, 29th January. IWA Chester & District Branch had a publicity and recruitment stand and joined others from other local societies.  

Visitors were able to watch presentations about the history of the locks and the Chester Canal given by Ray Buss of the Chester Canal Heritage Trust.  Kate Lynch, Heritage officer for British Waterways also gave a presentation on the heritage assets in Cheshire that BW manage.

For the full report please go to: http://www.waterways.org.uk/campaigns/news/other_news/northgate_locks_open_day

Inglesham Fundraising Update

There is still an enormous gap between what has been raised and what is needed to complete works planned for this year.

Check out what needs to be done this year http://www.waterways.org.uk/campaigns/appeals/work_plan_2011

We have updated the donation page so that it's easier to make a donation http://www.waterways.org.uk/shop/product_details?id=1294

Help Raise Funds for IWA if you Shop On-Line

IWA now participates in the easyfundraising scheme. It's absolutely free to you and IWA can gain donations from the participating retailers of up to 2.5% or more of the value of your shopping when you use it.

For more information please see http://www.waterways.org.uk/support_us/online_fundraising_

Information for IWA branches

Branch Recruitment Incentive

IWA has introduced a scheme to donate £20 to branch funds for each new member directly recruited by branches. Branch members undertaking the introduction should ensure that the recruiting branch details are clearly indicated on the application form and a transfer of funds will be undertaken by HO at year end .

Branch meetings and donations to outside speakers

Officers attending the recent Stoke workshop made inquiries as to the situation regarding donations to outside speakers attending branch meetings.

IWA’s charitable aims are:

  • To advocate the restoration, conservation, good maintenance and sensitive development of the inland waterways of England and Wales, including the structures and buildings of the waterways that are an integral part of the waterway environment.
  • To encourage the fullest use of the inland waterways for recreation and commerce in so far as that is commensurate with their preservation, the maintenance and improvement of their historic and natural environment and the enjoyment of others.
  • To educate everyone about the use and benefits of the inland waterways by means of publications (both printed and electronic), practical examples to demonstrate benefits and participative activities.

Any activity conforming within the spirit of these general aims is legitimate for the purposes of qualifying for donations out of IWA’s branch funds.

Organise an Event for the Inglesham Lock Appeal

If you or your branch would like to organise an event to raise funds for the Inglesham Lock Restoration Appeal, please contact gemma.bolton@waterways.org.uk

IWA Volunteering Opportunities

Canalway Cavalcade 30th April - 2nd May 2011

We are looking for volunteers to assist in running Cavalcade over the weekend to do jobs such as setting up equipment, erecting signs and fencing, bucket rattling, brochure distribution, stewarding and bar staff.

For more information please see http://www.waterways.org.uk/events_festivals/canalway_cavalcade_2011_/volunteer_opportunities

IWA Branch and Region Help Wanted

West Country Branch Secretary - The position involves arranging a typical five Committee meetings a year, a Branch AGM, the taking of and distribution Minutes, relevant communication with IWA Head Office and with other parties as the need arises.

Avon & Wiltshire Branch Chairman - Avon & Wilts Branch committee seeks an additional member, who, after a sufficient period of familiarization with the current business of the committee, would be able and willing to assume the chairmanship of the committee.

For a full list of volunteer opportunities go to: http://www.waterways.org.uk/about/vacancies/vacancies

Other News

Liverpool Boat Show Cancelled by Organisers

A boat show which was expected to attract thousands of visitors to Liverpool has been cancelled.

The Liverpool Boat Show was due to take place on the Mersey waterfront for 10 days from 29 April. Yachts, power boats, historic ships, a regatta and sea shanty festival were among the billed attractions. Organisers Marine Industry Events (MIE) said it had been forced to cancel the show due to the economic climate and poor take-up of exhibitors.

For more information please see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-12456994

IWA Member Discounts and Special Offers

The following special offers are now available exclusively for IWA members:

  • 5% Discount at Midland Chandlers
  • Special Hire rates to IWA members with Europcar

Please note: All discounts and offers are entirely at the organisers' discretion.

To see details of how to take advantage of these offers please go to http://www.waterways.org.uk/support_us/member_services/member_discounts_special_offers_public

For IWA members that receive a hard copy of this bulletin in the post, please contact the membership team on 01494 783453 for the details of the offers.


Canalway Cavalcade 2011

Canalway Cavalcade is a major event in the national canal calendar. Organised by IWA annually since 1983, it now always takes place over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend (30th April to 2nd May) at Little Venice in Paddington, the capital’s most iconic canal venue, and one of its major tourist attractions.  It combines a boaters’ gathering with a trade show and a wide range of activities and entertainments.  About 150 boats are likely to attend and will moor in or adjacent to the Pool of Little Venice in Paddington and towards Paddington station. During the event, visitors see the area at its best, full of colourful narrowboats, bunting, barges and cruisers creating a marvellous spectacle.   A wide diversity of boats is always represented, including historic canal working boats, holiday and residential narrowboats and cruisers, with the occasional Dutch barge.

For more information:
General Enquiries: 07876 597 941 
Trade show: 0844 800 6552 exhibition@waterways.org.uk
Waterspace and boat entries: 020 8642 8104 or download Boat Entry Form
Press and Publicity: 020 8255 1581 christine.smith@waterways.org.uk

Upcoming Work Parties

Please see below for a list of canal restoration events.

19th - 20th February - Chichester Ship Canal (wrgBITM)
Contact: Dave Wedd 01252 874437 or email bookings@wrgBITM.org.uk

26th - 27th February - Thames & Severn Canal (NWPG)
Contact: Bill Nicholson 01844 343369 or email bill@nwpg.org.uk

26th - 27th February - T.B.A. (London WRG)
Contact: Tim Lewis 07802 518094 or email london@wrg.org.uk

9th - 10th April - Birmingham Canal Navigations Cleanup
Contact: WRG Enquiries 01494 783453 or email enquiries@wrg.org.uk www.wrg.org.uk

25th June - 2nd July - Basingstoke Canal, Surrey (WRG)
Details: This year we will be involved in a multitude of tasks including water conservation works. This camp will offer volunteers the chance to operate excavators and dumpers, so why not come along and try your hand at something completely different.
Contact: WRG Enquiries 01494 783453 or email enquiries@wrg.org.uk www.wrg.org.uk

25th June - 2nd July - Eisey Lock (Cotswold Canals), near Cricklade, Wiltshire (WRG)
Details: The first summer camp will focus on demolition and rebuilding of the lower gate recesses and walls so if you have bricklaying experience or want to learn how to bricklay then these could be the camps for you!
Contact: WRG Enquiries 01494 783453 or email enquiries@wrg.org.uk www.wrg.org.uk

Upcoming Towpath Walks

20th February – Regent’s Canal, London
Details: Kings Cross to Camden - meet 2.30pm, Kings Cross Station taxi rank. Costs £8 or £6 senior citizens/full-time students, children under 15 free. Proceeds shared between IWA and London Walks.
Contact: Peter Finch 020 8969 9941, sailor1057@aol.com or Roger Wilkinson 020 8458 9476, rogerw9796@yahoo.co.uk.

24th February – Shropshire Union canal, Chester
Details: Telford’s Warehouse, Tower Wharf, Chester (CH1 4EZ) is the starting point for this 3.7 mile walk along the Shropshire Union canal, around Chester’s city walls, through Grosvenor Park, along the bank of the River Dee and across the Roodee and Water Tower Gardens.  Map reference 400 667 OS Landranger 117.
Contact: Social Secretary 0151 608 6487.

6th March – Regent’s Canal, London
Details: Mile End, Limehouse - meet 2.30pm Mile End Station. Costs £8 or £6 senior citizens/full-time students, children under 15 free. Proceeds shared between IWA and London Walks.
Contact: Peter Finch 020 8969 9941, sailor1057@aol.com or Roger Wilkinson 020 8458 9476, rogerw9796@yahoo.co.uk.

10th March - BCN, Daw End Branch, Rushall
Details: Organised by IWA Lichfield Branch. A return walk of about 3.5 miles along the canal towpath to Longwood Junction, Hay Head Wood and Park Lime Pits nature reserve. 10.15 for 10.30 am start at The Manor Arms, Park Road, Rushall, Walsall.  Optional lunch at the pub afterwards.  This walk will be led by Brenda Ward.
Contact: Margaret Beardsmore 01889 803923 or email margaret.beardsmore@waterways.org.uk

20th March – Bow Back Rivers & Olympic London
Details: Meet 2.30pm Bromley-by-Bow Station. Costs £8 or £6 senior citizens/full-time students, children under 15 free. Proceeds shared between IWA and London Walks.
Contact: Peter Finch 020 8969 9941, sailor1057@aol.com or Roger Wilkinson 020 8458 9476, rogerw9796@yahoo.co.uk.

24th March – Trent and Mersey and Shropshire Union canals, Middlewich
Details: The Big Lock, Webb’s Lane, Middlewich (CW10 9DW) is the base for this walk which follows the towing paths of the Trent and Mersey and Shropshire Union canals and uses the lanes, tracks and footpaths in the valley of the River Dane to connect the two canals.  The walk is 3.4 miles long, the map reference is 702 668 OS Explorer267.
Contact: Social Secretary 0151 608 6487.

To advertise your towpath walks in the bulletin please email details to news@waterways.org.uk.

About People

Peter Redway

On Monday 7th February  Peter Redway passed away following his battle with kidney failure and other complications. To say that he was involved in the Basingstoke Canal in a big way would be a huge understatement. Virtually kick-starting the restoration of the St Johns flight using competition winnings donated by his wife Margeurite, he continued right through to the re-opening and beyond to the present, co-ordinating and running work parties up and down the canal together with his family. The waterways movement has lost a friend, and the Basingstoke has lost a giant. His stamp on this canal is indelible.

Contact Us

IWA Head Office, Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA

01494 783 453


Bulletin is edited by Jo Gilbertson and Gemma Bolton