IWA Bulletin September 2011

Top Story

Government Incentive to Grant Planning Permission for more Residential Moorings

Housing Minister Grant Shapps has urged local authorities to consider how new powers restoring local control over housing provision and planning can enable people to choose to live on a boat in order to help meet local housing needs. As new moorings could be eligible for the New Homes Bonus, the Minister said that there was a strong incentive for local authorities to grant planning permission for more residential moorings.

This is a significant issue on which IWA wishes to reflect. However, in principle, IWA does not object to the Government's proposal that local authorities could look more to residential moorings as an alternative to the conventional land based dwellings for housing provision, and IWA agrees that experience has proven that such provision can stimulate regeneration, which is especially helpful to local communities in the redevelopment of brown field sites.

IWA would want to see such residential moorings to be provided principally offline, such as in marinas, and that occupiers should be required to pay for the right boating licences and mooring fees. Any additional funds that might accrue from this provision to the New Waterways Charity after its establishment next year would provide resources for investing in the network so that all boaters and other waterway users could reap the benefit of this income through improved waterways and associated facilities.

IWA News

Red Diesel - EU Threatens Infringement Proceedings

The issue of the use of red diesel by private pleasure craft appears to be raising its head again.

IWA understands that the European Commission is threatening to open infringement 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). IWA understands that the Commission’s threat is in relation to the continued availability of marked diesel in the UK for propelling private pleasure craft.

The current situation 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, dates back to 2008. IWA, RYA and BMF worked closely with HM Revenue & Customs to achieve this sensible arrangement following the ending of a UK derogation from the Energy Products Directive which permitted the UK to continue to levy a reduced rate of duty on motor fuel to be used for propulsion in private pleasure craft.

The Commission effectively seems to want private pleasure craft to have to use white diesel for propulsion. IWA, RYA and BMF are making representations to the Government encouraging it to contest any EU proceedings against the UK. IWA is arguing that it is simply not practical for most boats that use the inland waterways to have two tanks – one for red diesel and one for white; that inappropriate modifications would raise safety concerns; and that many diesel suppliers would not supply both red and white diesel. But fundamentally, IWA believes that the agreement reached in 2008 remains entirely consistent with the spirit of EU law and that the UK’s implementation in this manner therefore should not be regarded as an infringement.

Whilst this development is of concern there are no immediate implications. This is a legal process which could take years to conclude. 


Pete Redway Memorial Dig 8th - 9th October
Basingstoke Canal, Surrey

On the 8th and 9th of October, instead of the normal reunion weekend, WRG will be holding a memorial dig on the Basingstoke Canal, in memory of Pete Redway, the longstanding Surrey & Hants Canal Society Chairman and Working Party Organiser who died earlier this year. Plans are still being finalised for the weekend but work may include bollard installation; brickwork repairs; replacing of lock ladders; scrub bashing and general maintenance work. To find out more go to www.waterways.org.uk/wrg/canal_camps/bonfire_bash_2011


IWAlk - IWA Sponsored Walk along the Montgomery Canal

Twenty-five canal enthusiasts joined IWAlk, a sponsored walk organised by IWA's Shrewsbury, District and North Wales Branch along the towpath of the Montgomery Canal on Saturday 27 August 2011. The walk between Llanymynech and Maesbury Marsh has raised nearly £400 so far.

The walk started at the Canal Stables Visitor Centre at Llanymynech Heritage Area and followed the reopened canal length used by the George Watson Buck trip-boat, run by the Duchess Countess Packet Boat Trust.

At Crickheath walkers were able to see Waterway Recovery Group volunteers continuing their work to waterproof the canal bed and were given a detailed explanation of what they were doing by WRG co-ordinator Alan Jervis.

Leaving this site they could see also the length being restored by volunteers of Shropshire Union Canal Society, who are also reconstructing the canal and making it waterproof to extend the navigable length of the canal.

At Redwith Bridge, the towpath led to the restored canal: the first length has been rewatered but cannot be used by boats until restoration reaches Crickheath where the canal is wider so that boats can turn.

The final section, from Gronwen Wharf, took walkers alongside the part of the canal that is restored and open to navigation, with boats moored outside the destination at Canal Central.

Anyone who would like to support the event can still sponsor online www.waterways.org.uk/campaigns/appeals/iwalk___montgomery_canal


Montgomery Canal Restoration Project Video

Waterway Recovery Group volunteers have returned this year to a derelict section of the Montgomery Canal to continue its restoration, with four week-long Canal Camps.

For further information and to see progress of the restoration project you can watch videos by IWA's Shrewsbury & North Wales Branch volunteer Alan Wilding www.waterways.org.uk/regions_branches/north_west/Shrewsbury_North_Wales/montgomery_restoration_2011_video


Government proposal to abolish the Inland Waterways Advisory Council

A consultation on the proposal to abolish the Inland Waterways Advisory Council has been launched by Defra. The Government announced its intention to abolish IWAC in July last year as part of the Arms Length Bodies Review.
IWAC was originally set up by the 1968 Transport Act as the Inland Waterways Amenity Advisory Council and reformed in 2007 by the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 to advise Government, navigation authorities and other interested persons about the use and development of inland waterways.
However, as the Government has announced plans to move management of inland waterways from British Waterways and the Environment Agency to a new charity in April 2012, its view is that there will no longer be need for an organisation to provide advice for policy development.
There is more information at: www.defra.gov.uk/consult/2011/08/22/waterways-advisory/

IWA's prelimary view is to wonder how realistic it might be for Government to revert from its Preferred Option of abolishing IWAC since it effectively ceased operations in December 2010. Its office has closed and the staff have been dispensed with.  IWA intends to respond to the consultation regretting the loss of the Council, which provided valuable advice, but IWA has to question how open the Government is to IWAC's operations being set up again afresh in the current economic climate.


Saving Bristol’s Unique ‘Floating’ Harbour

This year is the 40th anniversary of the first Bristol Water Festival, the brainchild of Fred Blampied, a very longstanding member of the IWA, and at the time Chairman of South West Branch. The first Festival was held on 25th/26th June 1971 and was organised jointly between IWA's then South West Branch and the Cabot Cruising Club. The purpose was to demonstrate the leisure and amenity potential of the old commercial harbour in response to Bristol City Council's development plans.

Bristol City Council has long since changed its view about the importance of the harbour to the city, and in June, organised a re-enactment of the boat trip for the party of civic officials who opened the first Festival on 25/26 June 1971. The boat travelled from the Great Britain dock to St Augustine’s Reach in the centre of the city.

At the official opening of the 2011 Bristol Water Festival, the Mayor presented Fred with a unique piece of Bristol Blue glass in the shape of a yacht as a token of thanks. IWA would also like to thank Fred who has worked so hard for the cause of waterways and demonstrating what a difference can be made by volunteers with a passion.

To read the history of the campaign please go to www.waterways.org.uk/learning/historic_campaigns/bristol_s_floating_harbour


Inglesham Fundraising Update

£49997.98 has been pledged so far.

Work during August included construction of a site compound, clearing vegetation, and removing damaged brickwork. Volunteers also started rebuilding the upper wing walls of the lock and the bywash culvert. WRG plans lots more work on the lock in the forthcoming months, so there will be plenty more opportunities for everyone to get involved.

Proposed works for this year include damming of the canal from the Thames and the construction of a piled landing stage for the lock.

To donate please go to www.waterways.org.uk/shop/product_details?id=1294


IWA Volunteering Opportunities

IWPS Looks for Administrative Volunteers

The Inland Waterways Protection Society Ltd. (IWPS) is a volunteer organisation charged with the future of Bugsworth Canal Basin as a major High Peak Heritage Tourist attraction.  It is looking for more management help to negotiate with national bodies like English Heritage, Heritage Lottery Fund, etc, and local bodies such as High Peak Borough Council, Derbyshire County Council and British Waterways.

The prospect for any volunteer would be ultimate responsibility in one or more of the fields of fund raising, project planning and compliance, Health & Safety regulation, etc. IWPS officers have a great deal of autonomy and report to a 12-strong Council of Management.

For details please contact Ian Edgar MBE, Bugsworth Canal Basin, 0161 427 7402.

Office Volunteers Required

IWA is looking for an additional volunteer to help out at our Head Office in Chesham. Work hours are flexible and full training will be provided. For further information please email gemma.bolton@waterways.org.uk.


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

Proposed mooring plan for Lee & Stort Navigations

British Waterways has published an update following the public consultation on proposals to introduce a new moorings management plan for the River Lee, River Stort and the Hertford Union Canal. The plan was initiated by the need to manage the 40% increase in boat mooring in the area over the past four years.

Following feedback, British Waterways has decided to shelve its previous proposals in order to explore the potential of a new model for managing demand on the rivers.

The detail of the plan is to include the following:

  1. Setting up a social enterprise encouraging a much greater element of local management through, for example, adoption of a code of conduct and opportunities for contributions to planning and operation of boater facilities;
  2. Working with local councils to create much-needed new residential moorings, as has been given a welcome boost by the Housing Minister Grant Shapps;
  3. Introducing a new type of roving mooring permit to increase security for live-aboard boaters currently resident on the rivers without a home mooring;
  4. Investing income earned from roving mooring permits in improved facilities along the waterway;
  5. Provisions for ensuring space at visitor moorings and hotspots is kept available for leisure boaters;
  6. Keeping any future growth in boat numbers at a sustainable level.

The consultation closed on 31 May 2011. The documents constituting British Waterways’ formal response to the consultation can be found at: http://www.britishwaterways.co.uk/listening-to-you/consultations-and-reviews/completed-consultation-reports.

Rare chance to navigate the Upper Arun - Sunday 11th September

Boat owners will have a rare chance to navigate part of the former Arun Navigation on Sunday 11th September when the Wey & Arun Canal Trust holds a small boat rally as part of the inauguration of the Lordings Waterwheel.

The waterwheel is believed to be the only one of its type in the country. It is driven by the flow of the River Arun, and lifts water from the river level to the summit level of the Arun Navigation canal, about 3m above. It was originally restored about 10 years ago, and has since been rebuilt with new parts to improve its performance and durability. The rebuilt waterwheel is to be inaugurated by local MP and government minister, the Rt Hon Nick Herbert MP.

Local owners of trailable, unpowered boats are invited to join in the celebrations on the day, when they will be able to use the Arun Navigation and observe the effectiveness of the waterwheel. Participants in the boat rally, as well as observers, will be able to enjoy a barbecue on site, with beer and soft drinks on sale, provided by the Hammerpot Brewery.

Entry forms and more information about the boat rally are available from John Taylor-Cram, on 02392 250463, rallies@weyandarun.co.uk

Further information about the Wey & Arun Canal Trust is available from the Trust’s office, on 01403 752403.



IWA Member Discounts and Special Offers

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

  • Blacks/Millets - 15% 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
  • 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.



10th - 11th September - Slough Canal Festival
Details: Including boat trips, canal wares, arts and crafts, canal fishing, kids' activities, ridgeside falconry, refreshments, mobile farm and lots more! On Sunday you can come and meet the Dulux dog! Free entry and parking.
More info: www.waterways.org.uk/iwa_calendar/event/view?id=10

24th September - IWA AGM
IWA's National AGM will be held at 2.00 pm on Saturday 24th September 2011 at Cookley Village Hall, Lea Lane, Cookley, Kidderminster. DY10 3RH
More info: www.waterways.org.uk/agm/agm


Upcoming Work Parties

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

9th September - Work Party at Rugeley, Trent & Mersey Canal (IWA Lichfield Branch)
Details: From 9.45am to 1.00pm.  Meet at the bottom of the steps down to Brindley Bank aqueduct, accessed off Wolseley Road by the footpath alongside the Pumping Station.
No experience needed, all equipment supplied.  We will be finishing painting the aqueduct railings, clearing litter and scrub, and thinning some more of the trees.  Please note that if working next to water, lifejackets need to be worn (provided by BW).  As usual, tea, coffee etc. will be provided.  Everyone welcome, even if only for an hour or so.
Note: The branch hopes to be joined mid-morning by local MP Aidan Burley and British Waterways manager Darren Green.
Contact: Margaret Beardsmore on 07581 794111 or email margaret.beardsmore@waterways.org.uk

9th September - 12th September - Lancaster Canal (WRG North West)
Details: WRG North West is taking part in the Kendal Torchlight Procession on the Friday evening.  The dig runs from the Friday to Monday. Volunteers will be dismantling and rebuilding parapets on Stainton Crossing Bridge.  New volunteers welcome.
Contact: nw@wrg.org.uk

10th September - 11th September - Wilts & Berks Canal (Essex WRG)
Details: Volunteers from Essex WRG are spending the weekend helping restore the Wilts & Berks Canal - new volunteers welcome.
Contact: essex@wrg.org.uk

10th September - 11th September - Chesterfield Canal (London WRG)
Details: London WRG will be helping construct the New Staveley Town Lock. There will be plenty of work to keep both skilled and newcomers busy.
Contact: london@wrg.org.uk

10th September - 11th September - Thames & Severn Canal (KESCRG)
Details: KESCRG volunteers are spending the weekend restoring the Thames & Severn Canal as part of the Dig Deep Project.  New volunteers welcome.
Contact: bobby@kescrg.org.uk

11th September - Work Party at Rugeley, Trent & Mersey Canal (IWA Lichfield Branch)
Details: From 9.45am to 1.00pm.  Meet at Bridge 66, Leathermill Lane, Rugeley, WS15 2HN.
No experience needed, all equipment supplied.  We will be finishing painting, clearing litter and scrub, and filling in a big wash-hole on the towpath.  Please note that if working next to water, lifejackets need to be worn (provided by BW).  As usual, tea, coffee etc. will be provided.  Everyone welcome, even if only for an hour or so.
Contact: Margaret Beardsmore on 07581 794111 or email margaret.beardsmore@waterways.org.uk

17th - 18th September - Chichester Canal (wrgBITM)
Details: Work is cutting back the overhanging vegetation on the off-side bank, which has reduced the effective width of the canal by 10-15 feet or more. Branches, brambles, etc.  Depending on location, work can either be from the bank or from boats.  There are two barges, two tugs, and there is also a small workboat and an excavator mounted on a pontoon.
Contact: bookings@wrgBITM.org.uk

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


Upcoming Towpath Walks

6th September - Morning Walk from Fradley Junction (IWA Lichfield Branch)
A 4-mile circular walk taking in the Trent & Mersey and Coventry canals. Flat with two easy stiles. If bringing dogs, please keep them on leads. Meet at 10.30 for 10.45 am start from the British Waterways yard, Fradley Junction, near Alrewas, DE13 7DN (Note: £1 car parking charge). Optional meal at the Kingfisher Cafe afterwards. Non-members welcome. No charge for the walk, but donations to Branch funds appreciated. 
Contact: Margaret Beardsmore on 07581 794111 or email margaret.beardsmore@waterways.org.uk

18th September - Droitwich Junction Canal (IWA Warwickshire branch)
Details: Starts 10:30am. Meet at Hanbury Road Car Park. Walks normally last about 90 minutes and you are advised to wear boots if the recent weather may have made the footpaths muddy.
Contact: richard.sanders@waterways.org.uk

18th September - Bow Back Rivers & Olympic London (London Walks)
Details: Bow Back Rivers & Olympic London, meet 2.30pm Bromley-by-Bow Station. Costs £8 or £6 senior citizens/full-time students, children under 15 free. Proceeds shared between IWA and London Walks.
Contact: Peter Finch 020 8969 9941, sailor1057@aol.com or Roger Wilkinson 020 8458 9476, rogerw9796@yahoo.co.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