Fiona Bruce MP for Congleton was named Inland Waterways Parliamentarian of the Year on Tuesday 28th February 2012.
In making the award, Clive Henderson national chairman of the The Inland Waterways Association, made special reference to Fiona’s impact in providing such generous support for the inland waterways throughout the preceeding year. A member of IWA, Fiona is treasurer of the All Party Parliamentary Waterways Group and has played an active role in the run up to the formation of the new Canal and River Trust charity, helping IWA’s campaigns team by asking questions in parliament, and attending the All Party Parliamentary Waterways Group hearings where she didn’t shrink from asking searching questions of Canal and River Trust trustees. Fiona has two IWA branches in her constituency and has also provided valuable parliamentary and practical support for them during the year.
IWA’s Annual Parliamentarian of the year award dinner was held at the House of Commons on February 28th.
IWA was host to nearly 40 attendees, with all major parties being represented at a dinner presided over by the Rt Hon Alun Michael MP former waterways minister, and current chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Waterways Committee. As well as key MPs who have lent their support to the waterways cause, IWA also played host to several Lords and also trustees of the Canal and River Trust.
The dinner provoked lively debate surrounding the formation of the new waterways charity and the challenges it faces in its formative years. IWA also took the opportunity to ask members to continue to consider and support the opportunities for the inclusion of the Environment Agency navigations in 2015.
Last year we reported that the European Commission was threatening to open infraction proceedings against the UK Government in relation to its implementation of the Energy Products Directive and/or the Marking Directive (which sets out the rules for the marking of diesel fuel).
It was about the continued availability of marked diesel in the UK, whereby the users of private pleasure craft can use red diesel, with duty payable at the full rate for diesel used for propulsion and at the rebated rate for diesel used for heating and lighting.
The problem as perceived by the Commission has been one of improper use of marked diesel in certain Member States. IWA, together with the RYA and BMF has been in discussion with HMRC over recent developments, leading up to an HMRC consultation which ends on 11th March.
HMRC has been keen for UK boaters to be able to continue to use red diesel, and of course that has had the full support of IWA, RYA and BMF. It has negotiated with the EU a position that maintains that ability, allowing the continued use of red diesel at the rebated rate for lighting and heating purposes. A concern of HMRC has been that if the dispute had been allowed to escalate it could not rule out an adverse ruling by the European Courts so that the UK would be required to ensure that white diesel is used in private pleasure craft.
This is good news for boaters who do not leave UK waters. However, there has been some misunderstanding, and misreporting, of what it means for craft that do leave UK waters.
Even the HMRC Ministerial statement suggested that from 1st April the use of red diesel to propel private pleasure craft will be allowed only within UK waters. However, the legislative change proposed does not lead to that result. Since the legislation only applies to UK waters it has no effect outwith UK waters. Craft could choose to leave UK waters for the continent or elsewhere with red diesel in the tanks. The risk is that other EU Member States do not allow it under their law so within their territorial waters there is still the possibility of fines being imposed. We know only of Belgium that is imposing fines. This has the most implications for RYA members and RYA is challenging the Belgian practice.
Thank you to those that took the time to submit photographs for our 2013 IWA Calendar photo competition. There were many brilliant photos submitted and it was a difficult job to whittle them down.
The photos have now been shortlisted and we are inviting you to vote for your favourite. There are five categories - Cover photos, Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn. The top three from each seasonal category will feature in the 2013 calendar.
Please only vote ONCE for each category. Additional votes will not be counted.
Vote for 2013 IWA Calendar Photographs
Inglesham Lock Restoration Appeal
The Inglesham Lock Restoration Appeal, which will help both the Cotswolds and Wilts & Berks canals restoration schemes is progressing apace and IWA is looking for further donations to help finalise the fundraising.
Three further week-long WRG Canal Camps together with weekend digs are planned for this year. If you are interested in volunteering this summer to help restore the lock please visit the Waterway Recovery Group website for more information.
Inglesham Lock is seen as the eastern gateway to the Cotswold Canals restoration and provides additional focus for the Wilts & Berks Canal restoration that spurs off it several miles west of the lock’s junction with the Thames.
The Cotswolds is one of only a few major funded projects that is currently making substantial progress in the UK, and IWA is keen to support this as one of the first of a series of appeals that it wants to carry out in support of these schemes around the country.
IWA aims to provide a new landing stage, restore the lock chamber with the facility to deliver back pumping and clear the cut above the lock whilst also ensuring that the balance of the work can be completed to have the lock operational as quickly as possible .
Please send a cheque made out to 'IWA' to: IWA Inglesham Appeal, Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA or donate online
Donations totalling in the region of £80,000 have now been pledged towards the Inglesham Lock Appeal, a good achievement in these difficult economic times, but we need to get as close as possible to our £125,000 target by the end of April when the appeal will close to personal donations.
See the photo gallery of restoration work undertaken so far.
Some dates for your diary in 2012:
|Waterways Festival and Giant Boat Jumble - Gloucestershire||1st April|
|South Kyme Festival - Lincolnshire||4th - 7th May|
|Northampton Boat Gathering - Northamptonshire||4th - 7th May|
|IWA Canalway Cavalcade 2012 - London||5th - 7th May|
|BCN Society Summer Rally - West Midlands||18th - 20th May|
|Rickmansworth Festival - Hertfordshire||19th - 20th May|
|Moira Canal Festival - Leicestershire||19th - 20th May|
|The Broads Green Boat & Tourism Show - Norfolk||20th May|
|IWA National Trailboat Festival 2012, Stroud - Gloucestershire||2nd - 4th June|
|Crick Boat Show - Northamptonshire||2nd - 5th June|
|Boxmoor Canal Festival - Hertfordshire||3rd - 5th June|
|Stoke Bruerne Museum Gala Weekend - Northamptonshire||8th - 10th June|
|Stafford Boat Club Gathering - Staffordshire||8th - 10th June|
|Middlewich Folk & Boat Festival - Cheshire||15th - 17th June|
|Droitwich Boat Gathering - Worcestershire||22nd - 25th June|
|Northwich River Weaver Festival - Cheshire||23rd - 24th June|
|Stratford River Festival - Warwickshire||29th June - 1st July|
|Leeds Waterfront Festival 2012 - West Yorkshire||30th June - 1st July|
|Chesterfield Canal Festival - Derbyshire||30th June - 1st July|
|IWA Thwaite Mills Boat Gathering 2012 - West Yorkshire||30th June - 1st July|
|Selly Oak Park Festival, Boat Gathering - West Midlands||30th June - 1st July|
|Evesham River Festival - Worcestershire||6th - 8th July|
|Wheel 10 - Falkirk Wheel Boat Rally - Falkirk||6th - 8th July|
|Ware Boat Festival - Hertfordshire||6th - 8th July|
|Pershore Town River Festival - Worcestershire||14th - 15th July|
|Newbury Waterways Festival - West Berkshire||20th - 22nd July|
|Blisworth Canal Festival - Northamptonshire||11th - 12th August|
|IWA Campaign Festival 2012, Preston - Lancashire||25th - 27th August|
|Red Hill Marina and Tuggyland Boat Show - Nottinghamshire||25th - 27th August|
|Ellesmere Boat Rally - Shropshire||7th - 9th September|
|RNLI Rally - Surrey||22nd - 23rd September|
|Village at War Weekend - Northamptonshire||28th - 30th September|
|BCN Society Bonfire Rally - West Midlands
||4th - 5th November|
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.
IWA Events Volunteering
Find out about volunteering opportunities at IWA's 2012 events www.waterways.org.uk/support_us/volunteer/event_volunteers
IWA Branch and Region Help Wanted
For a full list of volunteer opportunities within IWA branches and regions please go to: www.waterways.org.uk/about/vacancies/vacancies
The Conservators and Environment Agency have concluded their negotiations over a new reciprocal licensing agreement for vessels using the River Cam and Anglian Waterways.
For the 2012 calendar year, vessel owners who have already purchased BW Gold licences will be allowed access the Cam Conservancy Area to visit Cambridge. Gold owners will have to register with the Conservancy as visitors but there will be no fee on production of a Gold licence.
In the first year of this agreement, there will be time to review a reciprocal arrangement with the new Canal & River Trust. The Conservators have never had a reciprocal licensing agreement in place for BW-registered craft. Gold owners enjoyed the benefits of navigating the Cam under the old interchange agreement as Agency-registered vessels.
BW Trials New Lightweight Aluminium Stop Plank
BW has been testing a new lightweight aluminium stop-plank. Stop planks are traditionally made of wood and are designed to be used during canal breaches.
The planks were first tested during an emergency lock stoppage in London late last year and BW said this first use was a great success. A new test took place on 29th February at Aston Lock, on the eastern end of the Trent & Mersey near Shardlow.
The new stop planks are said to be much easier to handle than wood, faster to install, and because they are telescopic they don’t have to be cut specifically to size. In addition, unlike dedicated wood stop planks, they don’t have to be stored on site, so would not be subject to vandalism.
Read the full article on the Waterways World website
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 go to www.waterways.org.uk/support_us/members_area/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.
9th - 11th March - Chelmer & Blackwater (London wrg)
Details: London wrg will again be helping our sister company Essex Waterways to maintain and improve the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation.
To advertise your restoration/cleanup events in the bulletin please add details to IWA's events calendar http://www.waterways.org.uk/iwa_calendar/
4th March - Regent's Canal (London Walks)
Details: Route: Regent’s Canal: Little Venice – Camden Meeting Point: Warwick Avenue Cost: £8 Concessionary and student rate: £6
Contact: Peter Finch: 020 8969 9941, firstname.lastname@example.org
8th March - Cannock Extension Canal and Woodland (IWA Lichfield Branch)
Details: A circular walk of about 3 miles near Brownhills. No stiles. Dogs on leads welcome.
Meet at 10.30 am for a 10.45 start at The Toby Carvery (The Turf Lodge), Watling Street (A5), Norton Canes, Cannock, Staffordshire, WS11 9ND. Optional lunch and refreshments at the carvery afterwards. Non-members welcome. No charge but donations of £1 to Branch funds appreciated, to support canal restoration projects. Leader: Heather Blackmore.
Contact: Margaret Beardsmore on 07581 794111 or email email@example.com
To advertise your towpath walks in the bulletin please add details to IWA's events calendar http://www.waterways.org.uk/iwa_calendar/
IWA Head Office, Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA
01494 783 453
Bulletin is edited by Gemma Bolton