Local Waterway Partnerships in the West Midlands and North West begin work

Issue date: 20 June 2011

The final appointments have been made to the trial Local Waterway Partnerships that will advise on and influence the management of canals and rivers in the North West and the West Midlands.  These trial Partnerships, alongside a third trial already underway on the Kennet & Avon Canal, will work with local waterway managers until the new waterways charity becomes fully operational in 2012.

The Partnerships held their inaugural meetings on 31 May (North West) and 15 June (West Midlands) where they started the process of working through management plans, looking at how to engage new volunteers and identifying potential sources of additional funds to help look after the waterways.  A written record of all meetings will be publicly available on the internet.

The chairs of the Partnerships, Professor Steven Broomhead in the North West and Peter Mathews CMG in the West Midlands, worked with Roger Hanbury of The Waterways Trust and with the local waterway managers, Debbie Lumb and Dean Davies respectively, to identify the founding members.  All positions on the Partnerships will be unremunerated, but agreed expenses will be reimbursed.  Information on the members can be found in the notes to editors.

Roger Hanbury, chief executive at The Waterways Trust, comments:  “The applications to join the trial Local Partnerships show how much enthusiasm there is for the waterways, and the substantial body of support that the new waterways charity will be able to tap into.  The Partnerships are made up of strong individuals who are committed to ensuring the canals and rivers are managed effectively and efficiently, for the benefit of local boaters and neighbouring communities.  Working with the local waterway managers, this is a great opportunity to forge a new working model where lessons can be learnt that will inform the new waterways charity.

Subject to forthcoming consultation by Defra, each of the existing eleven administrative waterway regions in England and Wales will have Local Partnership Boards appointed by the new charity to guide local decisions.  The trials being set up now will provide important lessons ahead of 2012 about the scope of the charity’s Local Partnership Boards and how they should operate. 

For further information please see:

West Midlands Partnership Board
North West Partnership Board