Defra Review of the Environment Agency and Natural England
The Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs has announced a public consultation as part of its review of the functions of the Environment Agency and of Natural England. Although heralded as a routine review to check that the functions of both bodies are still necessary and appropriate to be undertaken by arms-length government bodies, there is a clear underlying intent to save on costs and trim the organisations down.
The coincident timing of the reviews of both bodies is no accident – the main proposals put forward is that the two organisations might be merged together to form a single UK regulator for the countryside and the environment, with periphery activities passed to other sectors where appropriate. This fits well with the Government’s past stated intent that the Agency’s navigation functions should be passed to Canal & River Trust in 2015 subject to agreement on funding, etc – and indeed this is mentioned in the consultation document (paragraph 53).
Defra says it plans to announce preliminary conclusions in the spring.
IWA plans to respond to the consultation promptly to remind Government of IWA’s past and on-going support to transfer navigation management of the EA’s current responsibilities to Canal & River Trust, and recommends that waterway users and other waterways organisations should do likewise, as the alternative future under continued EA management seems likely to be one of dwindling resources under continued budget cuts from an organisation more focussed on environmental concerns than recreational users, however committed EA’s present staff are to provide good service.
The review documents can be found on the Defra website
IWA London Region has put together a proposal for reducing overstaying boats in the London area. It proposes a new regime of mooring in London based on a mixture of greater enforcement and self-regulation where this can be achieved.
The proposal was developed in response to the increasing number of craft appearing on the waterways system around London and resultant congestion, visual impact, shortage of permanent and visitor moorings, and problems with security, policing and waste disposal in the area.
The proposal only currently looks at moorings on CRT waterways in central London, the lower reaches of the main line of the Grand Union Canal, including the Paddinton Arm, and the Lee Navigation. Further work will be needed to identify all potential mooring sites that would be needed to complete a comprehensive plan for the whole London Area including the waterways controlled by the Port of London Authority and Environment Agency.
The paper also looks at some of the issues involved in implementing the vision.
The following booking forms are now online:
For more information please see the event page.
IWA Chester and District Branch Maureen Shaw Appeal Update
An appeal was launched by IWA Chester and District Branch in June to fund an interpretation panel to be erected at Wardle Lock, in memory of the late Maureen Shaw.
Maureen of Wardle Lock was known by boaters throughout the country. She would engage in friendly conversation, and offer advice and help to those who needed it. Maureen’s talks gave an insight into what life was like working the boats and one of her wishes was that we should, “Keep it going – keep telling the story of the working boaters”.
The interpretation panel will tell the story of her early years with the Jinks family learning to steer and drive the horse, the southern route journeys and the loads they carried; the days with nb Spey, and with her husband Jack on nb Dace; and her time helping boaters in her inimitable way in the lock cottage at Wardle lock.
Enough donations have now been made from organisations and individuals from all over the country and the appeal is now officially closed. IWA Chester and District Branch sincerely thank everyone who has contributed to this project, without whose help it would not have happened. Any further donations are to be returned.
It is anticipated that the official unveiling of the panel will take place during the weekend of 23rd and 24th March 2013. IWA Chester and District Branch would like to encourage as many friends of Maureen to be there for the occasion. A further update will be made nearer the time.
Volunteers from IWA Stoke-on-Trent Branch were pleased to support CRT's Bedford Street Staircase Locks open day on Saturday 8th December.
Bedford Street Staircase is at the beginning of the Caldon Canal in Stoke-on-Trent, not far from Etruria Junction. The many visitors to the open day had the opportunity to walk down into the top lock chamber (after donning hard hats) and chat to CRT staff about the works being carried out.
There were also a few stalls and display stands, and two historic working boats, Lindsay and Keppel, brought from their nearby home by volunteers from the Etruria Boat Group Volunteers. IWA Stoke-on-Trent Branch and the Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust had a joint display of information about the history of the canals in the area and information about current activities and future plans. Several volunteers were recruited for the regular monthly work parties both on the Caldon Canal and the Cheshire Locks.
Visitors also had the opportunity to help make a bird box or a bat box, which will be put up along the waterways in the area.
Photo by Julie Arnold, Waterway Images.
IWA Manchester Branch Supports Towpath Taskforce Greater Manchester
About a dozen volunteers gathered at the Royal Oak at Failsworth on the Rochdale Canal on Saturday 24th November for the second of the Towpath Taskforce Greater Manchester work parties supported by IWA Manchester Branch.
The day started off with bacon butties for the volunteers, generously provided by the Royal Oak pub before walking across to Lock 65 to start work. The Royal Oak also provided lunch and regulars at The Royal Oak had taken part in a clean up with CRT the previous week, and the intention was to encourage and build on this local initiative.
Grappling rubbish out of the canal was very productive both at the lock (where a large mud filled tyre, a push chair and a brand new shopping trolley were retrieved) and further along where the bridgehole yielded a bicycle, two trolleys, an iron farm gate and a towpath motor cycle barrier. Numerous trolleys were extracted from the stretch of canal outside Tescos, and one of the more useful and unusual items to be pulled out was a pogo stick still in working order.
Vegetation was cut back and the cobble towpath cleared around the lock, while litter picking produced more than 10 bags of the usual rubbish. The promised rain arrived just as the volunteers were finishing off at the end of another productive and enjoyable day.
Photo – Young volunteer Tyson tries out a pogo stick pulled out of the Rochdale Canal during the work party. Photo by Hazel Mayow.
Maximise publicity for your 2013 waterway event by adding it to our calendar. Anyone, not just IWA branches, can add waterway events to our events calendar using our easy online form.
Festivals, walks and work parties will also get publicised in our fortnightly Bulletin. If you have any questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The following IWA region and branch magazines have been added to the website since the last edition of the Bulletin:
South West Region - Sou'Wester - Winter 2012
Manchester - Manchester Packet - December 2012
Milton Keynes Branch - Towpath Telegraph - January 2013
North Riding Branch - Northern Navigation News - Winter 2012
Stoke on Trent Branch - Knobsticks - Winter 2012
The following IWA region and branch magazines have also been added in recent weeks:
East Midlands Region - Aegre - December 2012
South East Region - Cargoes - Winter 2012
Ipswich Branch - Anglian Cuttings - Autumn 2012
Lichfield Branch - Lichfield Lines - Winter 2012
Middlesex Branch - Middlesex Matters - Autumn 2012
Northampton Branch - Endeavour - November 2012
Shrewsbury & North Wales Branch - Shroppie Fly Paper - Winter 2012
Photos submitted for the 2014 IWA Calendar competition are available to view online in our gallery of competition entries.
We are offering three free calendars to the photographers whose photos are used in the final calendar. Photos for the Calendar need to be digital with a resolution of at least 300 DPI and at least 2100 pixels x 1500 pixels (can be landscape or portrait). You can usually adjust the settings on your digital camera to take high resolution photos.
Photos for the competition need to be submitted by 31st January 2013. The photos will then be shortlisted and then put to a public vote.
See more information on the calendar competition and uploading photos
Come and join the team responsible for mounting one of the country’s most successful and best attended waterways events. Canalway Cavalcade, now in its 30th year, is held over the three days of the May Day Bank Holiday in the heart of the capital in Little Venice.
We are looking for enthusiastic people in the following areas:
Sponsorship Manager: Liaise with local and national companies to explore mutually beneficial marketing and advertising opportunities to generate revenue for all aspects of Cavalcade’s events and activities. For more information and to apply please contact Jerry Sanders, Commercial Director email: email@example.com or telephone: 07788 204442
Assistant to the Catering Manager: Assist in managing the day to day operational needs of a small group of quality outside caterers, most of whom have attended the festival over a number of years. No previous experience of catering or the catering trade is required. For more information and to apply please contact: Freddie Cooke, Festival Catering Manager email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: 07711 392442
Assistant Trade Show Manager: Assist the Commercial and Trade Show Manager in the layout and build of the event and looking after the traders during the event. The ideal person might also have an interest in sourcing new traders beforehand. Preferably London based. For more information and to apply please contact: Jerry Sanders, Commercial Director email: email@example.com or telephone: 07788 204442
Assistant to the Waterspace Manager: Assist in booking in boats attending the event, organise moorings, co-ordinate two pageants. For more information and to apply please contact: Mark Saxon, Waterspace Manager email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: 07867 488161
You can help in lots of other ways too. if you’ve a few hours to spare before or during the event please contact Jerry Sanders for more details.
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
Supreme Court Rules that Volunteers do not have Same Legal Rights as Employees
A Citizens Advice Bureau volunteer who tried to take her legal claim for the same employment rights as an employee to Europe, has been stopped by the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court judgment handed down effectively confirms that volunteers are not entitled to the same protections under the law as employees.
Read full story on the Civil Society 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 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
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
|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.
20th December - Lapworth, Stratford Canal (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.
10th January 2013 - Work Party - 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.
12th - 13th January 2013 WRG Dig - Wilts & Berks Canal (London WRG)
Details: Dig on Wilts and Berks Canal at Shrivenham. Accommodation at Watchfield Village Hall. See London WRG web pages for details. The leader for the weekend is Dave ('Moose') Hearnden.
To advertise your restoration/cleanup events in the bulletin please add details to IWA's events calendar
1st January 2013 - New Years Day walk at Lichfield (IWA Lichfield Branch)
Details: New Year's Day Walk at Lichfield. Meet at 10.15 for a 10.30 am start from The Plough Inn at Huddlesford, WS13 8PY. A walk following the route of the Lichfield Canal to see restoration progress including the recent works at Darnford Park and Tamworth Road, returning via footpaths and the Coventry Canal. Approx 5 miles. Optional lunch at The Plough afterwards. Leader David Dixon.
Contact: Pat Barton on 07947 337491 or email email@example.com
13th January 2013 - Upstream Walk, Godalming Wharf (National Trust, River Wey Navigations)
Details: Join the NT's volunteers for a circular walk from Godalming Wharf, along the natural river to Hurtmore, Charterhouse and back to Godalming Wharf – 5 miles. Meet at Godalming Wharf
To advertise your towpath walks in the Bulletin, please add details to IWA's events calendar
IWA Head Office, Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA
01494 783 453
Bulletin is edited by Gemma Bolton