IWA Bulletin March 2012

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Fiona Bruce MP named IWA Parliamentarian of the Year 2012


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.


IWA News

Red Diesel – EU Infraction Proceedings

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.


Vote Now for 2013 IWA Calendar Competition

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




thermometermen150pxInglesham 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.


2012 Waterway Events

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

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 Volunteering Opportunities

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


Other News

Fees on the River Cam Update

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


IWA Member Discounts and Special Offers

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

  • Channel Glaze - 10% discount on double glazing for boats
  • Cotswold Outdoor - 10% discount
  • Europcar - Special hire rates to IWA members
  • Lee Sanitation Ltd. - 10% on orders over £100
  • Midland Chandlers - 5% discount
  • Narrowboat Services - 10% discount
  • RoadPro - 5% discount
  • UK Boat Hire - 15% discount on 2012 holidays
  • UltimateBerths.com - Free Listing
  • Willowbridge Marina - 10% discount on chandlery purchases and services in the yard
  • Worcester Marine Windows Ltd - 5% discount

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.


Upcoming Restoration/Clean-up Events

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.
Contact: london@wrg.org.uk

To advertise your restoration/cleanup events in the bulletin please add details to IWA's events calendar http://www.waterways.org.uk/iwa_calendar/


Upcoming Towpath Walks

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, sailor1057@aol.com

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 margaret.beardsmore@waterways.org.uk

To advertise your towpath walks in the bulletin please add details to IWA's events calendar http://www.waterways.org.uk/iwa_calendar/


Contact Us

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

01494 783 453


Bulletin is edited by Gemma Bolton