The All-Party Parliamentary Waterways Group has published its own report on the governance and finance of the new Waterways Charity.
Following the general election of 2010, the group re-registered as an All Party Parliamentary Group in April 2011. The Chairman is Rt Hon Alun Michael MP and Tony Baldry MP is a vice-chairman. Both are former Waterways ministers.
The Group is run by and for Members of Parliament. It does not seek to represent specific
waterways interests but sees its role as to listen to all those with a legitimate interest pertaining to the inland waterways, and others with relevant expertise, so that following debate it can make constructive suggestions on issues affecting the future of this important element of our natural and built heritage.
In producing the report the group concluded that:
“We accept the practicality that the New Waterways Charity should begin life with fair representation of stakeholders but we believe that a membership model of democratic stakeholder representation to Council should be developed, with representatives elected by their organisations rather than appointed by the New Waterways Charity. We believe that membership has so much to offer the new organisation in terms of engaging the public and developing a sense of ownership that there should be a clear timetable for moving to a full membership model.
We recommend that the Charity should begin life with a Council that comprises members that are elected by the relevant organisations where that is possible, and with representatives of other interest groups provided for through nomination in the first instance; and that the process and timetable for achieving a fully elected Council, and moving the Charity to a full membership organisation, should be incorporated into the articles for the New Waterways Charity and be a required milestone in the Government contract with the Charity.
The level of funding proposed by Government is insufficient to meet the needs of the New Waterways Charity. Estimates of the funding gap range from £15m to £45m. British Waterways itself estimates a funding gap of £39 million in 2010/11 compared to what the company needs to achieve ‘steady state’ for the network and this estimate is supported by other independent witnesses.
The British Waterways estimated gap of £39 million is based on receipt of the current £47 million in government grant in 2010/11, compared to the £39 million proposed by Government for the contract it will have with the New Waterways Charity.
We recommend that Government consider the options which would enable the New Waterways Charity to be viable. We have identified three options to advise this outcome. They are:
We recommend that Government seeks an independent professional evaluation of British Waterways' financial projections and methodology to verify the financial requirements. “
Alun Michael and Tony Baldry met with the Minister for a private meeting on Thursday 14th July to discuss their conclusions and views surrounding the NWC. The report is being sent to all interested Waterway MPs .
IWA supporters are requested to write to their MP in support of the conclusions, especially concerning the need of additional funding, and to ask their MP to let the Minister know of the concern.
Read the memorandum from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Waterways: The Future of The Waterways, at: http://www.waterways.org.uk/pdf/waterways_memorandum
IWA’s Waterways Festival at Shobnall Fields, Burton-on-Trent, on 29th to 31st July 2011, looks set to be one of the best attended festivals for quite some time. A huge amount of local media interest is being shown in the festival and its many and various attractions. Over 350 boats and up to 250 exhibitors are now expected. The indications are that the town is taking the event to heart and that it will be the 'not to miss' event of the summer with a large local attendance expected over the three days.
It has been agreed with IWA Festivals not to hold a National Festival in 2012, as there is already a busy programme including Canalway Cavalcade, a Trailboat festival on the Cotswold Canals over the extended Spring Bank Holiday for the Queen's Jubilee, and a national campaign festival at Preston over the August Bank Holiday, as well as the Olympics at which it is likely that IWA Festivals' team will be busy helping to organise moorings for visiting boaters. A policy paper is being prepared for IWA trustees to consider plans for festivals for 2013 onwards.
Over sixty children and teaching staff from thirteen local schools are to attend a special award ceremony to show off their works of art to judges from the ‘Art is Rubbish’ campaign – a school project set by The Waterways Festival. Organised by IWA Festivals' team, the project aims to raise young people’s awareness of their waterways and the environmental impacts that litter and waste have upon wildlife and water quality. School children were set a challenge to use waste materials to create something of beauty that had a waterways theme. It also gave them the opportunity to get involved in the excitement of the national festival coming to their local town.
At the event, pupils from each school will be invited to talk about their piece of artwork, how they came up with their idea and the waste materials they have used. Following the presentations, The Mayor of East Staffordshire, Councillor Patricia Ackroyd, will announce the winning entry and present each school with a prize and certificate. A selection of the work will be on display in the IWA Premier Marquee at the Festivl. IWA Festivals would like to thank National Forest Adventure Farm, Pirelli, The National Brewery Centre, Planters at Bretbury, Pupils Schoolwear and Workwear and Conkers for their generous support for the project.
The 13 schools who took part are: Anglesey Primary School, Belvedere Junior School, Christchurch Infants School, Fountains Primary School, Holy Trinity CE Primary School, Holy Rosary RC Primary School, Tower View Primary School, Victoria Community School, Winshill Village Primary School, River View Primary, St. Augustine’s CE First School (Draycott in the Clay), Dove First School (Rocester) and Thomas Russell Infants School (Barton under Needwood).
Boating enthusiasts will once again have the opportunity to win a coveted award at The Waterways Festival, with 16 awards up for grabs including two new categories launched for the Burton-on-Trent event: Best Floral Decorated Boat and Best Decorated Campsite Unit.
Sponsor of the Best Floral Decorated Boat, East Staffordshire Borough Council, is extremely pleased to get involved as the category compliments its Burton in Bloom entry for the 2011 competition. The organisers hope this category will encourage green fingered boaters to create colourful floral displays for people to view from the tow path.
With over 300 campers expected to arrive over the weekend, the Best Decorated Campsite Unit category will offer house proud campers the chance to show off their tent or mobile home pitches.
The Illuminated Boat Parade takes place on the Friday evening (29th July) and promises to be a spectacular sight for the crowds, with this year’s optional theme being ‘Blooms and Beer’. This and all other awards will be presented at the Awards Ceremony which will be held at 11am on Sunday 31st July.
Awards categories for 2011:
It takes over 300 volunteers to stage The Waterways Festival, so please, if you can spare any time, we need your support. On completion of the online volunteer form Ann Myall, Personnel Manager, will contact you nearer to the event and organise with you personally how you would like to help and in what are area.
IWA's Waterway Recovery Group is helping the Chesterfield Canal Trust to build a new lock at Staveley.
There have been two week-long Canal Camps. Each time about 18 volunteers have come to stay in Staveley to lay bricks and blocks. They are building the front walls of the new lock. The Chesterfield Canal Trust’s volunteer work party will build the rest.
The new lock (Staveley Town Lock, no. 5A) will enable the canal to get under a railway line a few hundred metres further on. There will be a twin lock (Railway Lock, no. 5B) on the other side of the railway line to raise the canal again. The two sections will be joined by a pipe to siphon the water from one section to the other.
The base pad for the lock has been paid for through grants from Lafarge and IWA. It was built as part of the new Staveley Town Basin and has been overseen by engineers from Derbyshire County Council and the Chesterfield Canal Partnership.
Work on the basin is progressing ahead of schedule. Meanwhile the Trust’s work party is completing a washwall from Mill Green to the Basin. When this is done, the canal bed will be dug out and the whole section will be filled with water sometime during the Autumn. This will give an extra kilometre of canal.
There is still much work to be done. Supporters can help by donating bricks towards the cost of the lock. To donate a brick costs £5, a hodful of bricks is £50 and a barrowload of bricks is £100. For further details email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to The Treasurer, Chesterfield Canal Trust, 47 Whitecotes Park, Walton, Chesterfield, S40 3RT. All donors are listed in the Trust’s award-winning magazine Cuckoo, unless requested otherwise.
The Wey & Arun Canal Trust’s funds recently increased by £600 thanks to a donation from IWA's Guildford & Reading Branch.
The cheque was handed over at Loxwood Lock by the chairman and secretary of IWA's Guildford & Reading Branch, prior to a walk along the canal to see the next major restoration site at Southland Lock, led by the Trust's project manager Eric Walker. The money will be put towards the ‘Bramley Link’, the project that aims to create a ‘green corridor’ as a public amenity at the northern end of the canal, near its junction with the River Wey. The Bramley Link will be a key element in years to come in rejoining the restored Wey & Arun Canal to the rest of the navigable inland waterways network.
Further information about the Wey & Arun Canal Trust is available from http://www.weyandarun.co.uk/
IWA's South Wales Branch and Swansea Canal Society propose to hold a “Ponty Paddle”, a fun day out on the Swansea Canal. If you have access to a portable craft, canoe, dinghy, kayak, coracle or anything that safely floats and you are a member of a recognised group or organisation, you would be most welcome to attend.
The event this year will be held on Sunday 14th August 2011 from about 10am above Pontardawe in the Swansea Valley and coincides with the Pontadawe Summer Festival held over that weekend.
The purpose of the gathering is not a test of speed of the portable vessels but to test the skills of the navigators, to provide publicity for the restoration of the Swansea Canal and to have a fun day out.
The course is set out over approximately four miles of canal from the Recreation Ground, Brecon Road, south into Pontardawe Centre then North to the Ynysmeudwy Arms and back.
There is further information at: http://pontypaddle.weebly.com/
Reach is a skilled volunteering charity with a website that enables organisations to find volunteers with the specific skills they require. It may serve as a useful tool to enable IWA branches and regions, waterway societies and other voluntary waterway groups to find volunteers. There is a registration form to fill in and when a role has been accepted the website searches its list of registered volunteers. The website then contacts those with the right skills to find out if they are interested in helping.
There is more information at: www.reachskills.org.uk/
Residential Caretaker Vacancy – Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation
An opportunity has arisen for a new residential caretaker position on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation. It comes with a residential mooring (with local authority planning permission, just granted) at Heybridge Basin on the Navigation, for which the incumbent will be charged the going rate (dependent on boat length). The post holder will be expected to spend a minimum of 8 hours per week undertaking maintenance and security duties at the moorings area (e.g. grass cutting) for which they will receive a modest salary. Because planning permission relevant to the mooring is for a fixed period, with renewal subject to review, the post would be for an initial period of 18 months. There is more information at: www.waterways.org.uk/essex_waterways/boating/residential_vacancy, or contact the navigation manager Colin Edmond on 07966 375351
£45,573 has been pledged so far.
Proposed works for this year include damming of the canal from the Thames and the construction of a piled landing stage for the lock.
To donate please go to www.waterways.org.uk/shop/product_details?id=1294
We are looking for an additional volunteer to help out at our Head Office in Chesham. Work hours are flexible and full training will be provided. For further information please email email@example.com.
Lichfield Branch Waterways for Youth/WoW co-ordinator - Volunteering opportunity for a member of Lichfield Branch to co-ordinate and develop the activities in the Branch area which involve children and young people. For further information please go to http://www.waterways.org.uk/support_us/volunteer/vacancies/lichfield_branch_waterways_for_youth_wow_co_ordinator_
For a full list of volunteer opportunities go to: http://www.waterways.org.uk/about/vacancies/vacancies
Previous concerns raised by IWA and other waterway organisations that the Lee navigation would be cut off for an indeterminate time owing to Olympic security precautions, have been allayed slightly by the news that British Waterways has managed to agree with security agencies that pre booked daily passage will be available to allow access on and off the Lee via the Thames during the Olympics. The times are yet to be finalised but 0600-0900 and 1700-1900 is understood to be currently proposed. The dates that restrictions will apply are likely to be 20th June to10th September 2012.
Those craft with a pre booked mooring on the Lee should be aware that they will be expected to come through London prior to the Olympics and will stay on the upper part of the Lee until they drop down onto their booked berth and leave at the end of the games.
The Lee can be closed by the police at any time up to and during the games if the security threat level increases.
Navigation at the Waltham Cross site will be suspended during the White Water events, from 29th July to1st August 2012. The network will be fully re-opened the day after the closing ceremony for the Paralympics, 10th September 2012.
For more detailed information on dates for the restrictions see https://www.bwmooringvacancies.com/olympic-moorings.php
The Heritage Lottery Fund has approved a development grant to the Grantham Canal Partnership of £48,000 - a grant that could lead to a £750,000 investment in the next stage of the 33-mile long restoration project. Part of the project aims to capture local people’s memories, photographs and stories about the heritage of the canal.
This first award will allow the Partnership to prepare a detailed application for an innovative programme of works on the canal with a focus on heritage skill training. The eventual overall project value could be approximately £750,000 with £400,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
There are two key themes to the project: the establishment of a heritage skills training base at Woolsthorpe near Grantham, where the focus will be on lock restoration, in addition the project will provide interpretation panels and signage alongside the canal.
13 of the 18 locks on the Grantham are in various stages of dereliction. This initiative will fully restore 2 of those locks - to extend the navigable length of canal at Woolsthorpe and provide volunteers with the skills to tackle other locks along the canal and on other canals elsewhere. The training programme will be part of a national training initiative being developed by IWA.
The following special offers are now available exclusively for IWA members:
Please note: All discounts and offers are entirely at the organisers' discretion.
To see details of how to take advantage of these offers, please make sure you have registered for the IWA website and then log in. Once you have logged in please go to http://www.waterways.org.uk/support_us/member_services/member_discounts_special_offers
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.
Please see below for a list of canal restoration and clean-up events.
6th-7th August - Wendover Arm (wrgBITM)
Contact: Dave Wedd on 01252 874437 or email bookings@wrgBITM.org.uk
13th-14th August - Wilts & Berks Canal, Seven Locks Flight (London WRG & KESCRG)
Contact: Tim Lewis on 07802 518094 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
24th July - Stourbridge Canal (Jewels on the Cut)
Details: 11.00am start. Jewels on the Cut is a leisurely stroll along the Town Arm of the Stourbridge Canal examining the industrial heritage of the area with particular reference to the Stourbridge Glass Industry.
Contact: Broadfield House 01384 812745
6th August - Leeds & Liverpool Canal and the Aire & Calder Navigation (IWPS)
Details: We usually start at around 10.00 am and aim to finish at 4.00 pm, the length of the walk being about 5-6 miles.
Contact: Ian Edgar, Top Lock House, 7 Lime Kiln Lane, Marple, SK6 6BX. Tel: 0161 427 7402 or e-mail email@example.com.
7th August – Bow Back Rivers & Olympic London , 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, firstname.lastname@example.org or Roger Wilkinson 020 8458 9476, email@example.com.
To advertise your towpath walks in the bulletin please email details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
IWA Head Office, Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA
01494 783 453
Bulletin is edited by Gemma Bolton