IWA Bulletin Mid-February 2012

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CRT Council Elections - IWA Fields Candidates

The Council is to be the guardian of the long-term values and purposes of the Canal & River Trust. While the trustees are responsible for determining policy and strategy, the Council will have an important role in helping to shape policy, raising and debating issues, and providing guidance, perspective and a sounding board for the trustees.

Four positions are to be elected by boat licence holders.

Five of IWA's trustees are standing for election to CRT Council 2012. Please see more detailed information about each candidate, in alphabetical order;

Ivor Caplan

Clive Henderson
Paul Roper
Peter Scott
Vaughan Welch

In total there are 33 candidates standing for the four places available.

Other candidates who are IWA members include Patricia Perry Barton, Ann Farrell, Bernard Hughes OBE and David Pearce.  Details of all candidates can be found on the Waterscape website.

How does the voting work?

Every eligible voter has one vote in the election, which under the Single Transferable Vote system can be transferred so as to avoid wasted votes.

The ballot paper includes all candidates standing and the elector can use their vote by numbering as many of the candidates as they wish, in the elector’s order of preference (eg. by putting 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc… against the candidate names).

If your first preferred candidate already has enough votes to be elected, or cannot ever get enough, your vote will be transferred to your second preferred candidate and so on, so it is not wasted. Votes will be counted electronically.

To ensure that the election process is fair, open and transparent CRT has enlisted the help of the Electoral Reform Society, an independent organisation, to organise the election process. For more information about the ERS and the Single Transferable Vote visit www.electoral-reform.org.uk/single-transferable-vote/

Ballot packs have been sent to all eligible voters and there is a 30-day period when votes can be cast. Voting opened on 8th February and closes at 12noon on 9th March 2012.

IWA urges every eligible BW licence holder to make use of their democratic opportunity to vote.


news_workshop120pxWaterways Workshop - Working Together
Over 100 waterways supporters from across the country representing waterway Trusts and Societies participated in an all day workshop, jointly organised by IWA and CRT, in Birmingham on Saturday. The facilitated day was spent enjoying a look back at past achievements, looking at the challenges and rewards facing everyone when the Canal & River Trust is set up and most importantly how we can all work together in the future for common shared aims whilst having fun. More detailed notes will be available soon. The day was judged a success by all involved and there seemed to be a new spirit of cooperation across all bodies to make the most of the exciting opportunities that now exist.

Restoration support and expansion of the network was a key element throughout the day and was seen as a shared priority to keep momentum going whilst making the most of what we have already achieved - the headline for the day and for the future based on what has been achieved on the waterways over the last 60 years seemed to be 'the impossible is possible'.


Welches Dam Lock Update

IWA has been in substantial discussions with the EA over Welches Dam Lock (in the Fens), which has been closed for six years.

The EA had been resistant to any initiative to re-open the lock since it is not a current funding priority for them. Their focus locally is the development of the Fenland Link according to their own programming priorities. But IWA has now been able to engage in a constructive dialogue with the EA involving the possible use of volunteers.

The EA is open to proposals for IWA to take on the lock under a leasing arrangement. Whilst the detail has to be developed, this maybe a potential way round the impediment of EA control and management.  Subject to a satisfactory outcome on leasing, the next step would be for IWA to set up a local restoration team to lead this initiative. The discussion with EA has provided greater insight into the issues causing problems at the lock. We now know that one option for restoring navigation may be to reline at least some of the Forty Foot River to prevent leakage along with associated works to renovate the lock, with a view to keeping the lock gates permanently open.


The All Party Parliamentary Group on Waterways

The IWA secretariat to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Waterways has just been informed that the Waterways Minister, Richard Benyon MP, is to attend a hearing on 15th March for a substantive discussion with Group members on the implications of the Government’s funding agreement with the Canal & River Trust. More details will follow.


IWA Parliamentary Dinner

IWA's annual Parliamentary Dinner on 28th February is looking to be the most successful so far. There are 24 MPs and four Lords due to attend, as well as six of the Canal & River Trust trustees and, for the first time, the chief executives of all three of the major navigation authorities – British Waterways, the Environment Agency and the Broads Authority. The Waterways Minister, Richard Benyon MP, also plans to attend.


news_oakleyplaque150pxReplacement Ron Oakley Plaque Unveiled

Metal thieves stole the original brass plaque from beside Bridgwater Lock, which commemorated the life and work of local waterways campaigner Ron Oakley. Ron was a long time local IWA Chairman and the founder of Inland Waterways International [IWI]. He died in 2004 and a brass plaque, cast by Edwin Fasham, was placed beside Bridgwater Lock in 2005, when the lock was renamed after him. Sadly metal thieves stole the original brass plaque last year. Colleagues from both the local IWA and IWI got together and funded a replacement plaque, this time made of stone. It was unveiled on Saturday 11th February 2012, when many of Ron's friends, together with his son and daughter, gathered at the lock side for a short commemorative event.


thermometermen150pxInglesham Lock Restoration Appeal

One last big fundraising push required.

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.

IWA and WRG have set an ambitious target to restore the lock by 2013. Three further week-long WRG Canal Camps together with weekend digs are planned for this year.

Inglesham is strategically important as it is the eastern starting point for the Cotswolds 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 .

Speaking about the restoration appeal, Inglesham Appeal Chairman and IWA National Treasurer Les Etheridge said.

"We want to wrap up the fundraising this year if we possibly can, so that we can focus our attentions on completing the practical restoration works unhindered. This then puts us in a position to support schemes in other parts of the country.

I would urge all waterway supporters to help us finish the fundraising for this scheme 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 £73,000 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.


About People

We are saddened to report the death, on 30th January, of waterways artist Alan Firth.  A former school teacher, he was one of the country best-known waterways artists, providing designs for IWA Christmas cards over many years (including the best selling card of 2011), and helped in setting up the Guild of Waterways Artists.

We are also saddened to report the sudden death in February of Heather Higgs, well-known supporter of the Surrey & Hants Canal Society, and wife of long-time former Society chairman and IWA trustee Robin Higgs.


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
Rickmansworth Festival - Hertfordshire 19th - 20th May
Moira Canal Festival - Leicestershire 19th - 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
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
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

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 Public Relations & Communications Internship

Public relations and social media is of continuing importance to IWA, and we need someone to help with the day-to-day duties of managing and developing our local and national public relations and social networking channels.

The post will be ideally suited to someone with a public relations or journalism background who is looking to develop their experience.

For more information please see the internship specification.



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

£28 Million Boost for England’s Rivers

A £28 million Fund to clean up England’s rivers and encourage local wildlife to flourish has been announced by Environment Minister Richard Benyon.
Part of a £92 million Defra commitment to clearing up England’s rivers and lakes, the Fund, announced on 3rd February, will allow communities and charities to tackle local eyesores and encourage wildlife to thrive by tackling pollution and removing redundant dams, weirs and other man-made structures to create habitats that work for wildlife.

Community groups and charities can apply for a share of the Catchment Restoration Fund to clean up their local rivers by tackling pollution, restoring wildlife habitats and enabling fish to migrate.
The Environment Agency will be responsible for running the fund over the next three years.
See full article on DEFRA's website

Ambitious Plans for River Nene

Plans by the Environment Agency to rejuvinate the River Nene in Peterborough have drawn popular local support.

The project proposes to increase commercial and leisure uses on and around the Nene, and to improve links from the waterway into the city centre.

Key features of the blueprint drawn up by the Environment Agency (first published as a Vision Document in March 2011) include:

  • Construction of an education and research base at Ferry Meadows Country Park
  • A new marina
  • New moorings along stretches of the river
  • Building a riverside heritage wharf
  • Installation of several hydro-power devices
  • Creation of space for an event and festival arena downstream of the South Bank towards Whittlesey

The Peterborough Waterspace Strategy also envisages linking Peterborough to Boston and Lincoln via the Fens Waterways Link and on to Ely.

The Peterborough Waterspace Strategy is one of three large-scale straegies drawn up by the Envionment Agency to make the most of its Anglian rivers.  Other strategies cover Bedford and Spalding.  Details for all three are available on the Environment Agency's website.

There is also a detailed article on the Peterborough Evening Telegraph's website.

Cromford Canal Dredging Work Approved

Derbyshire County Council has agreed to spend £300,000 to dredge 1.3-miles of the Cromford Canal, between Cromford Wharf and Leawood Pump House, which it owns.  The work, which is expected to take about nine weeks to complete, is likely to take place next winter, and following this a new tripboat operation may be established at this northern end of the canal.  In December 2011, the Council undertook repairs on the 163-year old aqueduct carrying the canal over the Derby to Matlock railway.  The aqueduct is a scheduled ancient monument.

The 14.5 miles Cromford Canal was opened in 1794 and closed in the 1940s.  A small section of the canal, including its southernmost lock, at Langley Mill was restored by Erewash Canal Preservation & Development Association when the Erewash Canal was fully re-opened in the early 1970s, and the Friends of the Cromford Canal currently campaigns to fully restore the waterway.  The northern end of the canal was bought by Derbyshire County Council from British Waterways in 1974. 

Between 1969 and 1989, about 5 miles of the canal between Cromford and Ambergate were restored, either partly or wholly, by the former Cromford Canal Society, together with Leawood Pump beam engine (which was restored to full operation, pumping water from the River Derwent to the Canal above).  The Society ran horse-drawn passenger boats over about 1.5 miles from Cromford to Leawood and steamed the beam engine on regular occasions, but the Society ran into internal difficulties and collapsed with the Council taking over its operations and trip boat ceased.  Friends of the Cromford Canal, founded in 2002, now promotes the restoration afresh.

IWA's Waterway Recovery Group will be holding two week-long Canal Camps on the Cromford Canal between 4th and 18th August.  Volunteers will be working on the Derwentside spill weir, on the watered section of the canal in the Derwent Valley World Heritage Site. Work will consist of demolishing the existing structure and building a new one. There will also be the chance to work on the Gauging Narrows at Sawmills, continuing rebuilding work on the stone walls started by WRG in 2011.

School Children Olympic Clean-Up of River Lea

Volunteers are being sought to clear rubbish from the river Lea and the banks that surround the Olympic park.

Watch the ITV news story online about local school children getting involved.


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 Work Parties

Please see below for a list of canal restoration and clean-up events.

26th February - Tree Planting at Rugeley (IWA Lichfield Branch)
Details: Tree Planting Work Party at Rugeley.  A joint event with Rugeley Lions.  Please help us to replant gaps in the towpath hedge; lots of helpers needed to plant 420 saplings donated by The Woodland Trust.  All equipment provided, but bring a favourite spade if you prefer.  Strong footwear essential.  Meet canalside by Bridge 66, Leathermill Lane, Rugeley, WS15 2HN.  10.00 am to about 12.30 pm. 
Contact: Margaret Beardsmore on 07581 794111 or email margaret.beardsmore@waterways.org.uk

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