Fiona Bruce, MP for Congleton, was named Inland Waterways Parliamentarian of the Year on Tuesday 28th February 2012.
In making the award, Clive Henderson, national chairman of the The Inland Waterways Association, made special reference to Fiona’s impact in providing such generous support for the inland waterways throughout the preceeding year. A member of IWA, Fiona is treasurer of the All Party Parliamentary Waterways Group and has played an active role in the run up to the formation of the new Canal and River Trust charity, helping IWA’s campaigns team by asking questions in parliament, and attending the All Party Parliamentary Waterways Group hearings where she didn’t shrink from asking searching questions of Canal and River Trust trustees. Fiona has two IWA branches in her constituency and has also provided valuable parliamentary and practical support for them during the year.
IWA’s Annual Parliamentarian of the year award dinner was held at the House of Commons on 28th February.
IWA was host to nearly 40 attendees, with all major parties being represented at a dinner presided over by the Right Hon Alun Michael MP, former waterways minister, and current chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Waterways Group. As well as key MPs who have lent their support to the waterways cause, IWA also played host to several Lords and also trustees of the Canal and River Trust.
The dinner provoked lively debate surrounding the formation of the new waterways charity and the challenges it faces in its formative years. IWA also took the opportunity to ask members to continue to consider and support the opportunities for the inclusion of the Environment Agency navigations in 2015.