IWA was pleased to learn that that the many hard won commitments and concessions gained over the years in successive legislation are unlikely to be ‘swept away’ in the invention of a new charitable organisation, which will take over the running of the waterways currently managed by BW, through the implementation of the Public Bodies Bill published on Friday 29 October 2010.
The Bill although primary legislation , is a relatively ‘simple’ document, that allows the Minister to do whatever he or she likes with BW and its functions, by means of ministerial order, but so long as no third party loses rights or protections as a consequence. The implication of this is that all the existing legislation concerning BW will remain in place, but all the rights, duties and obligations of BW may simply be transferred to whatever body or bodies takes over BW's work. All the safeguards of the 1968 Transport Act and 1995 BW Act, for example, will be untouched.
The Bill also allows for similar powers (i.e. the Minister can do whatever he or she likes - ranging from abolition to 'nothing at all') with the Broads Authority, Environment Agency and internal drainage boards (which includes the Middle Level Commissioners), and the National Parks.
It appears to IWA that there is nothing in the Bill that is contrary to IWA policy or objectives or that IWA is likely to object to. However, when the relevant draft statutory instruments are published, IWA will want to look at them carefully, to check that there is nothing unforeseen, but the indication from this Bill is that there should not be a problem through losing any current existing protections for the waterways, in fact there may be some unexpected benefits relating to the possible need to upgrade ( unspecified in this bill) to cruise-way status through the need to protect water rights for remainder waterways. IWA will of course be closely monitoring this situation.
In the meantime IWA’s campaign team are continuing to monitor and engage politicians and officials in the development the New Society model for BW. IWA is currently speaking to friendly MPs to see if an adjournment debate can be arranged that could to focus Parliament’s attention on what IWA see as key issues, particularly regarding:
IWA is also aware that a new Defra team is being assembled to handle the transitional arrangements; for British Waterways move to the third sector and for the consideration of any possible inclusion of EA navigations. IWA’s campaign team has arranged an early meeting with the Defra Team leader to discuss the IWA agenda and seek ways to help shape the outcome.
There is now a page on the IWA website where branches and regions can advertise any vacancies they may have or requests for assistance. http://www.waterways.org.uk/about/vacancies
If your branch or region has any posts that need filling, please could you email the following details:
• What the position involves
• What the time commitments are
• Contact information to find out more about the role
• Any other relevant information
(Could you also please let us know when a position is filled so that we can keep the website as up to date as possible.)
IWA is still seeking members photographs for inclusion in IWA's 2012 calendar, IWA also needs photos for campaigning and publicity purposes so please have a look back at your recent shots to find some that you could contribute to IWA. We need 13 horizontal postcard format shots for the months included (January to January) and one high quality vertical shot for the front cover, which is always the most difficult picture to find. If you have some good photos of canal or river scenes please send them to email@example.com
IWA speakers directory
IWA promotions and communications team are compiling a new up-to-date list of speakers and presentations for use by branches, if you know of a good speaker please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are looking for volunteers who would be willing to adopt a marina or boatyard or boating business and keep them supplied with recruitment literature. Please contact Lesley.email@example.com
or phone HO on 01494 783 453
Inglesham ‘Guardian Angels ‘ required -We are also seeking ‘guardian angels’ to finalise the funding of the purchase of the canal bed; in £1,000 units on behalf of the trust. – if you would like to be recognised as a ‘Guardian Angel and specifically fund the purchase of the track please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A plan of the site together with a list of tasks needing undertaking is available
If you would like to sponsor a specific job so that WRG can make a start next year on site please contact Jo.email@example.com
The major Essex Waterways Ltd project for this year has been bank piling at Paper Mill Lock. This had to be undertaken during the summer when the risk of flood conditions was (hopefully) at its lowest. The poor condition of the lower bank between the two weirs was quite evident when seen from the mill pool below the lock. Here the plastic and timber piles were obviously failing with the risk of further bank collapse. If left unchecked, this would have resulted in failure of the weir structures which are especially prone to heavy flood flows. For the full story please go to: http://www.waterways.org.uk/essex_waterways/navigation_work/paper_mill_lock_weir_repairs
IWA Oxfordshire Branch members were busy running trip boats, for the sixth year in a row, in Banbury for Banbury Canal Day on Sunday 3rd October. Banbury Town Council is the organiser of this very substantial and successful event which seems to have to some extent become weather proof. Turnout this year was good despite indifferent weather. Over 300 people had a free short ride (many kindly made donations to IWA funds) in the boats kindly loaned (again) free by Tooley’s Boatyard and Oxfordshire Narrowboats.
The Autumn 2010 Meeting of Sussex Ouse Restoration Trust (SORT) will take place on Thursday 18th November, 7:00 for 7:30pm, in the Upper Room, Haywards Heath Methodist Church, Perrymount Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 3DN (near the railway station, about 200yds past the Clair Hall).
Dr. Peter Brandon will present an illustrated talk entitled 'Key Sites on the River Ouse'. Peter is a well-known historian of Sussex, whose published books include: The South Downs, The Shaping of the Sussex Landscape, The Discovering of Sussex, The North Downs, The Kent & Sussex Weald etc.
This will be a joint meeting with Solent & Arun Branch and Kent & East Sussex Branch of the IWA, but all those who are interested are welcome.
The Wey & Arun Canal Trust has announced that ‘Heads of Agreement’ with the National Trust have now been been reached, whereby a section of National Trust land situated between the River Wey and Stonebridge on the A281 in Shalford, near Guildford, Surrey, will be leased to the Wey & Arun Canal Trust (WACT).
For the Wey & Aun Canal Trust, this is a significant step forward to initiate its local objective of re-establishing the northern section of the Wey & Arun Canal.
The land concerned, ‘Gun's Mouth’, is shortly to be the focus of WACT's activities at the north end of the canal. These activities will initially involve preliminary surveys and site investigations to enable plans for a landing stage to be prepared for approval.
Information about WACT, the canal, and the trip boats at Loxwood is available from the WACT office at The Granary, Flitchfold Farm, Loxwood, Billingshurst, West Sussex RH14 0RH. 01403 752403, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Boaters Community plan to do another boaters' towpath and water clean-up between Bath and Bradford on Avon on Saturday 13th November. They have a work boat (Ishtar) available that day. They need some people to help organise it.
The last clean-up they did went well, and this one is promised to be easier – ‘less vegetation to hide the rubbish, and no sunstroke’. All are welcome to take part. Please contact email@example.com and they will forward your name.
Wendover Arm Trust will be holding two canal working parties; 5 to 11 November and 4 to 9 December 2010. Call Roger Leishman, on 01442 874536 to book a place or for more information.
The Trust is also urgently seeking someone who could act as Chairman since the previous incumbent is now concentrating on Fundraising. The position is not onerous, and the candidate need not own a boat but an interest in the restoration would be preferable. Possibly someone who has taken early retirement. Acting Chairman, Roger Leishman, can be contacted on 01442 874536 for an informal discussion.