Issue date: 26th October 2011
Defra has undertaken a short consultation on the powers to transfer to the Canal & River Trust. It is a limited consultation, with a reduced 6 week period to reply, since Defra had already consulted on the principles of transferring the British Waterways network, with associated statutory powers and obligations.
Most of the issues raised are technical but there were a couple of issues that needed a considered response from IWA.
In the context of a question about whether the CRT should have an enhanced statutory proposer role in relation to ministerial orders on classification and maintenance of its waterways, there appeared to be an ambiguity in the drafting of this section, suggesting that all waterways be able to be downgraded, other than just selected commercial waterways as originally envisaged in the original New Era for the Waterways consultation. IWA gave notice of its intention to robustly resist any such attempt to down grade any cruise-way waterways in the future.
On Freedom of Information and whether it might apply to the CRT, the IWA stance in replying was that it was contrary to a level playing ground being established for the new charity to have FOI requirements applied to it, when no other charities have the same conditions applied. It was also important for the CRT trustees to be fully independent.
Read the full IWA response
For consultation information please go to the DEFRA website