Issue date: 24th August 2011
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. it’s 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.