IWA Bulletin February 2013

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An open letter from Les Etheridge IWA national chairman to all waterway enthusiasts
Dear waterway enthusiast.
I have been national chairman of IWA for a few months and wanted to take this opportunity to share with you my thoughts as to what I see IWA’s key priorities for waterway enthusiasts in the immediate future.
Some people say that IWA doesn’t represent boaters, this is simply not true. Much of the work we do benefits current and future boaters. We fully recognise the importance of navigation to the health, well being and future viability of the network.  Our work for boaters is reflected by IWA having the largest membership of boaters of any inland waterways organisation by far. In fact well over 80% of our members are boaters and put their trust in IWA to look after their waterways and campaign for them.

What is of utmost importance to me however, is the good of our wonderful inland waterways, and I want IWA to ensure that it acts unselfishly in the best interests of those waterways at all times and provides a consistent pro- navigation, pro waterways user  message in keeping with our aims and charitable objects. 

The biggest change to the waterways scene in 2012 was of course the formation of Canal & River Trust.
Some ask how this affects IWA.
As a fellow charity, Canal & River Trust has some similar, but many clearly different interests to IWA.  We have described our view of the Trust as that of the landlord and our own role at IWA as being the tenants’ association. I think that this analogy has a lot of validity in describing our respective and different roles and perspectives on issues. - It is certainly one I will base my tenure as chairman of IWA on.
I want IWA to always strive to be constructive and professional in our dealings with the Trust as there is no point in action which damages the reputation or image of the waterways.  However I have made it clear to the Trust that we will say when we think they are getting it wrong.

Of course we realise that Canal & River Trust only controls some of our waterways and IWA maintains a close interest in all the others. The Environment Agency remains a public body that has substantial navigation authority responsibilities and IWA continues to campaign for the inclusion of these within Canal & River Trust which has been intimated by Ministers.

In recent months IWA has campaigned on many other issues including the failure by some boaters to respect the mooring rules on the Trusts waterways, the need for greater expenditure and coverage on dredging, and the further attack on red diesel and licensing by a Dutch MEP in the European Parliament.  It has been pleasing to see support from so many areas of the waterways public and progress on all of these issues as a result of that support.
Unfortunately, sorting out the problems with mooring rules has been portrayed by some as an attack on continuous cruisers.  I want to assure all waterway users that this is simply not the case. IWA supports both live-aboard boaters and genuine continuous cruising throughout the system. We believe that continuous cruising brings life to the waterways network  and ensures that it remains viable, connected and open throughout the year, but we maintain that the rules must be followed by everyone and we support even handed enforcement by the relevant authorities.

If you would like to know more about what IWA believes in and stands for I would like to direct you to our web site - IWA on use.
You may be surprised at how much we have in common!
If you want to let me know your views on IWA policy or what you think we should be doing to support the waterways please let me know.  I can’t promise to respond to every message, but I do promise to read every one.  You can contact me via les.etheridge@waterways.org.uk
With best wishes for the new boating season,

Les Etheridge
IWA National Chairman

IWA News

HS2 Route Canal Crossing Points

The Government's preferred routes for Phase 2 of the High Speed Rail (HS2) show several canal crossing points.

The Lichfield to Manchester line adds a bridge over the Trent & Mersey Canal between Woodend and Shade House locks, above Fradley Junction. Further north it crosses the Trent & Mersey Canal again right alongside the marina at Great Haywood. The line crosses the Middlewich Branch and the Trent & Mersey again near Bostock Hall, the Bridgewater Canal at Agden Bridge and the Manchester Ship Canal.

The Birmingham to Leeds section crosses the Coventry Canal at Polesworth, cutting through the canalside Pooley Fields Heritage Centre. At Measham it crosses Burton Road, but with no bridge shown over the adjacent Ashby Canal line where proposed for restoration. It crosses the River Soar at Redhill, the River Trent’s Cranfleet Cut, the Erewash Canal (twice), the Sheffield Canal and the Aire & Calder Navigation three times between Wakefield and Leeds. There is no indication of any bridges to allow for the restoration of the Chesterfield Canal between Staveley, Renishaw and Killamarsh where the main route and a branch to a proposed Maintenance Depot cross the original canal line in several places.

A public consultation is scheduled for 2013. IWA will lobby to minimise the visual and noise impact of the new canal crossings and to ensure proper provision for the protection of restoration routes as a result of the HS2 proposals.

The Secretary of State for Transport, has announced the launch of the Exceptional Hardship Scheme consultation for properties affected by Phase Two of HS2 between West Midlands and Manchester and Leeds

All the HS2 plans and supporting documents can all be seen on the Government website

Article research by Phil Sharpe, IWA Lichfield Branch.

IWA Lobby Lords over Growth and Infrastructure Bill

IWA has written to its key waterway supporters in the House of Lords asking for support in relation to the current passage of the Growth and Infrastructure Bill.

IWA considers one of the key achievements and outcomes of the recent transfer of the waterway network from British Waterways to Canal & River Trust (CRT) to have been the arrangement that holds the waterways in Trust for the nation, and for public benefit in perpetuity, via the Secretary of State.

IWA is very concerned that provisions in the Growth & Infrastructure Bill, specifically clauses 20 to 24, (due to be debated in a Committee of the whole House in the Lords) now puts  that achievement and benefit at significant risk. Protections currently provided to waterways (whether as statutory undertaker land or as open space) under the planning system are to be removed or severely diluted by the Bill. In particular, land of statutory undertakers and most open space is to lose the protection of the special parliamentary procedure where a compulsory purchase proposal is objected to.

The threat is of particular concern if schemes in the future, particularly commercially driven ones, may not be so sympathetic to CRT's objects.

In practice, at present, CRT can influence an authority that is making a compulsory purchase with the threat of a Special Parliamentary Procedure (SPP). This inevitably makes the authority treat CRT with greater respect and encourages a constructive discussion of their needs and concerns.

If the Bill is passed as presently worded, CRT would lose the right to the SPP. This is difficult to understand after government has created a special Infrastructure Trust for the waterways to provide this special protection under the stewardship of the Trust. It is even less understandable given that The National Trust will retain the right to call for a SPP on land that it has declared inalienable.

Put in very simple terms, why should the River Lee Navigation, which dates back to 1425, have weaker protections than the River Wey Navigation, which dates back to the 17th century, simply because the latter is owned by The National Trust?

APPWG Waterway Partnerships Enquiry

The first two sessions of evidence for the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Waterways inquiry into Canal & River Trust Waterway Partnerships were held on Tuesday 29th January.

It is envisaged that at least one further meeting will be held for evidence, scheduled for Tuesday the 26th February, details to follow once the witnesses to appear have been confirmed.

A further provisional date for evidence is Tuesday 19th March, should it be needed.

The committee is keen to know of stakeholders’ issues and concerns relating to the Partnerships, to better inform its inquiry and requests written submissions from interested organisations for consideration by the committee.

Please forward these to James Yearsley APPGW Secretariat (hosted by IWA)  jamesayearsley@gmail.com

A short report or communiqué of the findings and recommendations of the inquiry will be compiled and presented to the Minister in due course by the co-chairs Sir Tony Baldry and Huw Irranca-Davies, joint chairmen of the Parliamentary Group.

See documents:

Briefing Note for the Inquiry into the Waterway Partnerships

Agenda for the Inquiry into the Waterway Partnerships

The Water Framework Directive

IWA's Restoration Committee has put together some information about the effect the Water Framework Directive has on restoring disused river navigations.

The ‘Water Framework Directive’ (WFD), enforced in 2000, required European Union member governments to incorporate it in national legislation within three years. DEFRA is the government department responsible in England and Wales, and the Environment Agency is the Competent Authority responsible for delivering results.

The WFD requires that the ‘ecological status’ of every ‘water body’ is assessed. Water bodies may be catchments of a large stream, lakes, or sections of main river between gauging stations (or a groundwater body or a section of coast). 

See the full information on the Water Framework Directive and its effect on restoring disused river navigations

Waterway Recovery Group Spring Canal Camps

Get involved in some springtime fun with Waterway Recovery Group, from scrub bashing to towpath creation, digger driving and reprofiling a section of canal!
WRG has four week-long Canal Camps planned for the start of 2013. In February there is a visit to the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation, Essex from 16th to 23rd February. Activities for the week will include vegetation clearance and towpath improvement works. Accommodation has been arranged at Danbury Outdoor Centre in one of its residential units.
Over Easter WRG has two Canal Camps on the Lancaster Canal from 29th March to 6th April and 6th to 13th April, where volunteers will continue work started in 2012 to reprofile and line a section of canal at Stainton. Volunteers will be involved in earth-moving  using dumpers & excavators, vegetation clearance and stonework restoration. There is also another Camp on the Lichfield and Hatherton Canals running from the 29th March to 6th April.  This is an exciting opportunity to get  involved in a major restoration project with activities ranging from restoring a pound to clearing vegetation and creating new wildlife habitats

See more information on all of WRG's Canal Camps.
WRG attracts a wide range of people, from young volunteers taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme; to office workers bored of sitting at a desk all day who just want to get outdoors and dirty, have fun and learn new skills; to waterway enthusiasts who wish to make a contribution to restoring and preserving the system; and to retirees looking to do something completely different!  Volunteers attending our working holidays must be aged between 18 and 70, but apart from that, age doesn’t matter, nor does previous experience. Each week-long residential canal camp costs £56 (includes food and basic accommodation).
Request a free copy of the 2013 Canal Camps Brochure or call Jenny Black on 01494 783 453 ext 604.

Severn Navigation Restoration Trust

The Severn Navigation Restoration Trust was formed in the 1980s to promote the building of new navigation structures on the upper river Severn, above Bewdley, so as to extend year-round practical navigation further upstream beyond the current limit of Canal & River Trust’s jurisdiction at Gladder Brook. For various reasons, the proposals never turned into practical works, and the Trust decided to disband in November 2011, passing its remaining funds as a donation to IWA.  David Struckett, the Trust’s final chairman, has written a brief history of the Trust and the lessons learned from its endeavours, which is now available on the IWA website.

Maureen Shaw Panel Unveiling Announced

IWA Chester & District Branch has announced that a display panel to commemorate the life of working boater Maureen Shaw, who lived alongside Wardle Lock in Middlewich, will be unveiled at 2:00pm on Saturday the 23rd March 2013 at Wardle Lock in Middlewich in the presence of IWA Parliamentarian Of The Year, Fiona Bruce MP, and Maureen's daughter, Sharron Underwood, who iss flying in from Thailand. See all the details in the full press release.

Using Your Car to Volunteer

There are plenty of opportunities for volunteers that necessitate them to use their own car, but it is important that both volunteers and organisations using volunteers know the rules about insurance and expenses to ensure that everyone stays on the right side of the law.  People can find themselves using their car while volunteering for all sorts of reasons, such as travelling to a meeting, buying food for an event, transporting equipment or merchandise to a stall, or collecting fellow volunteers attending a work party.

Volunteers often aren't aware that using their personal vehicles for volunteering isn't automatically covered by their car insurance.  Whilst many insurance companies will count volunteering within the 'domestic, social and pleasure' category (but usually require the car owner to tell them about their volunteering), others require it to be classified under business miles.

"Anyone considering using their vehicle in connection with volunteer work should check the position with their motor insurer," says the Association of British Insurers. "Whether or not the insurer will  charge an extra premium, impose any additional terms and conditions, such as a higher policy excess, or require cover to be extended to business use may depend on the exact nature of the activities being undertaken."

The Association of British Insurers publishes a list of those insurers who undertake, at no additional cost, to insure their policyholders to carry out voluntary driving, that is, the use of a vehicle they own in connection with, or for the benefit of, charities, voluntary organisations, clubs or societies, under set conditions, where payment does not exceed the HM Revenue & Customs mileage rates in force at that time.  This does not cover use for hire or reward or vehicles owned by, hired to or lent to the voluntary organisation.

IWA Branch and Region Magazines

The following IWA region and branch magazines have been added to the website since the last edition of the Bulletin:

Birmingham Branch - Worcester Bar - February 2013
Chester Branch - Chester Packet - Winter 2012
Ipswich Branch - Anglian Cuttings - Winter 2013
South Yorkshire Branch - Keels & Cuckoos - February 2013
Stoke on Trent Branch - Knobsticks - Winter 2012

The following IWA region and branch magazines have also been added in recent weeks:

Chelmsford Branch - Newsletter - January 2013
East Yorkshire Branch - Newsletter - January 2013
North Lancs & Cumbria - Towing Path Topics - January 2013
Warwickshire Branch - Bear Essentials - December 2012
West Riding Branch - Milepost - January 2013


IWA Volunteering Opportunities

IWA National Festival 2013

IWA Festivals is looking for both Publicity and Marketing advice and assistance. If you have skills in either field that would help us promote the forthcoming National Festival in July, please contact Jerry Sanders by phone 07788 204442 for a chat, or email jerry.sanders@waterways.org.uk

IWA Festivals is also looking for a Security Officer to provide advice on the management of security throughout the event. This might be purely advisory to help the team assess the correct and economic level, or with more involvement during the event. IWA Festivals employs professional security guards during the event. Please contact Jerry Sanders by phone 07788 204442 for a chat, or email jerry.sanders@waterways.org.uk

New IWA Branch Volunteer Vacancies:

Chairman - IWA Chiltern Branch
Web Master
- IWA Chester & District Branch
Towpath Action Group Co-ordinator - IWA Chester & District Branch

Have a look at the list of volunteer opportunities within local IWA committees. There is a full list of volunteer opportunities within IWA branches at: www.waterways.org.uk/about/vacancies/vacancies


Other News

Canal & River Trust Launches South East Visitor Mooring Consultation

Canal & River Trust has invited waterways users to comment on proposals for changes to the maximum stay times at 22 of the most popular visitor mooring sites in the London area.

Jeff Whyatt, waterway manager, has discussed these at CRT local user group meetings over the past couple of years and Julia Moore helped him with local discussions with representatives of boating organisations. This resulted in a detailed schedule of proposed changes which they would like to start putting in place for April of this year. More recently, CRT's trustees and Council have considered national policy relating to casual mooring along the towpath and confirmed, amongst other things, the importance of measures to improve compliance with visitor mooring rules.

Read the South East Visitor Mooring proposals and send your comments using the feedback form by 1st March 2013.

CRT is encouraging this information to be shared with those without internet access. Paper copies of the document and feedback form can be posted to anyone on request by calling 03030 404040.

Wey & Arun Canal Trust Launches Gennets Bridge Lock Appeal

The Wey & Arun Canal Trust (WACT) has launched a fundraising appeal to raise £365,000 towards the restoration of Gennets Bridge Lock with a view to starting work in mid 2013.

The Trust estimates that volunteer work will reduce the cost of the project by at least 50%. 

The construction of the lock will ultimately allow boats to travel northwards from the popular Loxwood Canal Centre in West Sussex up to the Surrey border for the first time since the canal was abandoned in the late 19th Century.

Reconstruction of Gennets Bridge Lock marks the next stage in the efforts by the Trust’s members who have been working to restore the Wey & Arun Canal between Guildford in Surrey and Pulborough in West Sussex since 1970.

To contribute to the project, or to keep a track of the fundraising progress, please visit the Wey & Arun Canal Trust website.

Canal & River Trust Seeks New Trustee

CRT is seeking a financially qualified individual to appoint as a trustee to join its main board, chair its Audit Committee and join its Investment Committee. The Trust is looking for a candidate that will bring significant corporate finance experience, along with board or senior management level experience in an organisation of similar scale and complexity. 

The role is a three-year appointment to which the candidate will devote approximately three days a month.  The post is a volunteer role and will not be remunerated, but proper travel and other expenses will be fully reimbursed.

The role is being advertised on exec-appointments.com and the Sunday Times online.  The deadline for applications is noon on Monday 4 February 2013.

Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society Trip Boat

Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society is buying a new trip boat which is due for delivery in March 2013.

The old trip boat, John Pinkerton, will then be up for sale. The boat is 67 feet long, 8.5 feet wide and has a 50hp Kubota engine with about 9000 hours on the clock. It was built in 1978 by Hancock and Lane, Daventry and has a capacity of 50. It has a secure shop/kitchen and a toilet.

The trip boat has been successfully run by the society for 35 years and has been its principal source of income.

For more information about purchasing the trip boat, please contact Jeff Hill - jeffbhill@hotmail.com or phone 07766 587928.

IWA Member Discounts and Special Offers

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

  • Boatshed Grand Union - 10% discount on brokerage
  • Channel Glaze - 10% discount on double glazing for boats
  • Cotswold Outdoor - 10% discount
  • Europcar - Special hire rates to IWA members
  • Guildford Boat House- 20% discount
  • Grand Union Diesel Services - 5% discount
  • Lee Sanitation Ltd. - 10% on orders over £100
  • Midland Chandlers - 5% discount
  • Narrowboat Services - 10% discount
  • River Canal Rescue - up to 15% discount
  • RoadPro - 5% discount
  • UK Boat Hire - 15% discount
  • UltimateBerths.com - Free Listing
  • Willowbridge Marina - 10% discount on chandlery purchases and services in the yard
  • Worcester Marine Windows Ltd - 5% discount
  • Zead - Free postage and accessories

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 www.waterways.org.uk/support_us/members_area/member_discounts_special_offers_public

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

Members can also support IWA with a NarrowBoat subscription


Boat Insurance

IWA has an arrangement with insurers Navigators & General and River Canal Rescue that provides top quality boat insurance and access to the basic waterway rescue service for boat owners, with the added benefit that every policy taken out and subsequently renewed helps IWA, and thus furthers our charitable work for the waterways. 

See more information about the IWA insurance scheme for boaters

Waterway Events

Half Term Children's Activities at Gloucester Museum

Gloucester Waterways Museum has got plenty lined up for children and families to enjoy over the Gloucestershire* February Half Term holidays from Saturday 9 February to Saturday 16 February. [*halt term dates are different in many other counties]
During the week the Museum will have:

  • Gloucester Residents Weekend (9th, 10th Feb) - kids FREE
  • Walks with Hawks (12th Feb). Birds of Prey in the Museum from 11.00 a.m.—2.00 p.m.
  • Wicked Wednesday (13th Feb). Pygmy Goats from St James City Farm and ‘Severn Wildlife Slide Show’ by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust (11.00 a.m.—12 noon)
  • Children’s Roses & Castles painting (16th Feb). With Tony Watkins, 11.00 a.m.—3.30 p.m.
  • Children’s Crafts all week (including flower-making for your Valentine)

Cost: Adult £4.95, Child £3.50, Family (2+2) £14.00
Location: Llanthony Warehouse, Gloucester Docks
Tel: 01452 318200


Some dates for your diary for 2013:

IWA Canalway Cavalcade - Little Venice, London

4th - 6th May

IWA National Trailboat Festival - Bodiam Castle, East Sussex

25th - 27th May

IWA National Festival - Cassiobury Park, Watford, Hertfordshire 

19th - 21st July

Have you got a waterway event or activity to promote? - Anyone can add details of a waterways event or activity to this area on the website. You don’t even need to register with the website or provide any sort of password. Simply use the upload event form.

See IWA's Events Calendar for 2012 and 2013 waterway events. You can also search by event type or find out what's going in on your area with the map search.


Upcoming Volunteer/Clean-up Events

3rd February Canal Clean Up - Leamington Spa (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
Details: Canal Clean up on the Grand Union Canal in Leamington Spa.  Meet at Clemens St Bridge (Bridge 40).  Removing rubbish out of the canal and removing graffitti from the bridge.
Contact: alison.smedley@waterways.org.uk

9th - 10th February Worcester & Birmingham Canal (WBDCS supported by IWA Birmingham Branch)
Details: The purpose of this project is to improve the site and conserve the structure of the Lime Kilns at Tardebigge. The initial work will be to start ground clearance to make the site generally more accessible. In particular we will start to remove the tree trunk from the front area of the kilns, do what we can to remove the two telegraph poles, level the ground and clean the site of litter etc.
Contact: w.lambert@ntlworld.com

14th February Caldon Canal (IWA Stoke on Trent Branch)
Details: Monthly mid week work party held in conjunction with the Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust. Hedge laying on the Leek Arm at Bridge 9. All tools and equipment will be provided, along with training. Please bring packed lunch and own drinks. Volunteers are advised to wear old clothes and stout footwear.
Contact: bob.luscombe@waterways.org.uk

16th February Soho Loop, Birmingham (IWA Birmingham/BCNS)
Details: 10am to 3pm. All tools and equipment will be provided.  Volunteers are advised to wear stout footwear and bring waterproofs and a packed lunch.
Contact: sk63@btinternet.com

16th February Lapworth (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
Details: Tasks include lock painting, litter picking, veg clearance and path work. This event is supporting Canal & River Trust's Towpath Taskforce Initiative.
Contact: alison.smedley@waterways.org.uk

16th - 17th February Wey & Arun Canal (WRG BITM)
Details: Towpath construction near Dunsfold (weather dependent) or other work.
Contact: bookings@wrgbitm.org.uk

19th February Cheshire Locks, Trent & Mersey Canal (IWA Stoke on Trent Branch)
Details: Supported by Trent & Mersey Canal Society and the Canal & River Trust as part of the Cheshire Locks Project. Tasks will include vegetation management, clearing cobble setts, painting fences, balance beams and bollards. No experience necessary, all tools provided. Bring waterproofs and a packed lunch, and wear stout shoes.
Contact: bob.luscombe@waterways.org.uk

21st February Lapworth (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
Details: Regular twice monthly work party at Lapworth. Tasks vary each time but include lock painting, litter picking, veg clearance and path work. Work parties take place on the third Thursday and the third Saturday of each month.
Contact: alison.smedley@waterways.org.uk

23rd February Greater Manchester (IWA Manchester Branch/CRT)
Details: IWA Manchester Branch supporting Canal & River Trust Towpath Taskforce. Various locations in the Greater Manchester area, tasks will include pulling rubbish out of the canal, litter picking, painting and vegetation clearance.
Contact: ian.price@waterways.org.uk

To advertise your restoration/cleanup events in the bulletin please add details to IWA's events calendar


Upcoming Towpath Walks

7th February - Wolseley Bridge Walk (IWA Lichfield Branch)
Details: A circular walk taking in part of the Wolseley Estate and the Trent & Mersey Canal.  About 2 hours.  Meet at 10.15 for a 10.30 am start from the car park of the Wolseley Arms, Wolseley Bridge, nr Rugeley, Staffs. ST17 0XS (junction of A51 and A513).  Optional lunch afterwards at the Wolseley Arms.  Further information from Margaret Beardsmore on 07581 794111 or email margaret.beardsmore@waterways.org.uk
Contact: margaret.beardsmore@waterways.org.uk

To advertise your towpath walks in the Bulletin, please add details to IWA's events calendar


Contact Us

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

01494 783 453


Bulletin is edited by Gemma Bolton