All Party Parliamentary Waterways Group Meeting: 11 May

big_ben150pxIssue date: 27 April 2011

The All Party Parliament Waterways Group has been re-formed under the chairmanship of the Rt Hon Alun Michael MP. IWA has agreed to provide assistance and secretarial support to the Group. As its first action the Group is to undertake two hearings on the future arrangement of British Waterways as a non-governmental organisation. The first hearing will be on Governance and the second will be on Finance. The Group will then report to the Waterways Minister who has told the group that he has an open mind and will welcome our comments and suggestions on the proposals.

The first meeting will take place on Wednesday 11 May at 2.30-4.30 in Committee Room 16.

Defra issued its consultation document – A New Era for the Waterways – on 30 March. The purpose of the hearing is to explore the issues around what the new vehicle to manage the British Waterways network should be expected to deliver and appropriate governance for that model.

Alun Michael will be inviting experts in the field of charities and other non-government organisations such as trusts, co-operatives and mutuals to provide opinions to him and the MPs and Lords who are members of the group. Parliamentarians will then explore the view expressed by the witnesses.

This will be a formal meeting for the taking of expert evidence so it will not be an occasion when it will be possible to have a wider discussion between MPs, Peers and stakeholders. Alun Michael is minded to invite stakeholders to submit comments on what they hear and then to arrange a further meeting of the Group before the summer recess which will be an opportunity for wider discussion.