Issue date: 1 April 2011
Ahead of next year’s launch of a new waterways charity for England and Wales, British Waterways is currently recruiting people with an interest in their local waterway to advise and influence the management of canals and rivers in both the West Midlands and North West.
The trial ‘Local Partnerships’ will work with local waterway managers until the new waterways charity becomes fully operational in 2012 and will run in tandem with a third trial already underway on the Kennet & Avon Canal. The role of each Partnership is to give local people a greater say and role in how their local canals and rivers are run, guiding local management decisions.
Under the current consultation, 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.
Roger Hanbury, chief executive of The Waterways Trust, working with David Fletcher, chair of the National Association of Boat Owners, and the respective local waterway manager, is currently in the process of appointing the Chairs for the two trial Local Partnerships.
The aim is to have the Chairs in post as soon as possible, after which each will work with the local waterway management to fill a further seven member vacancies on each of the Partnerships. The target is for the Partnerships to be operational by 1 May 2011.
Roger Hanbury comments: “The trial Local Partnerships will operate as an integral part of the team that guides and supports each waterway manager. They will guide decisions about spending, help develop external funding and volunteering, and will champion the interests of the waterways to the local community, including to people in positions of influence.”
A written record of all meetings will be publically available on the web. All positions on the Partnerships will be un-remunerated, but agreed expenses will be reimbursed.