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 NEW WATERWAYS CHARITY – TRANSFER OF ENVIRONMENT NAVIGATIONS

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David Harvey

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PostSubject: NEW WATERWAYS CHARITY – TRANSFER OF ENVIRONMENT NAVIGATIONS   Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:36 pm

DEPARTMENT FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS

NEW WATERWAYS CHARITY – TRANSFER OF ENVIRONMENT NAVIGATIONS

Date 28 February 2011

Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Natural Environment and Fisheries (Richard Benyon)


On 21 June 2010, I made a statement about inland waterways policy for England and Wales. I said that we were considering the appropriate civil society model for British Waterways, including the possible inclusion of the Environment Agency’s navigations. On 14 October, the Government subsequently announced its intention to move British Waterways in England and Wales from being a public corporation to a new waterways charity – subject to parliamentary approval.

As a result of work undertaken by the Government, British Waterways and the Environment Agency over the last few months, I am convinced by the compelling vision of a national trust for the waterways that includes the British Waterways and Environment Agency navigations. However, I wish to take a phased approach to the delivery of this vision, so that assets and liabilities can be transferred sustainably. In phase 1, the liabilities and assets of British Waterways in England and Wales will transfer into the new charity, alongside an ‘endowment’ consisting of the property portfolio owned by British Waterways in England and Wales. In phase 2, the EA navigations would transfer to the new charity, if sufficient funding can be found in the next Spending Review to enable the charity to take on the liabilities associated with them, and subject to the agreement of the charity’s Trustees.

The Government’s proposed approach, which will be subject to public consultation as part of the forthcoming consultation on setting up the new charity, is that the EA navigations should transfer to the new charity in 2015/16 in the next Spending Review period, if it is affordable to do so. To maintain momentum, a review will be undertaken in 2014 to assess the progress and achievements of the new charity and to consider the options for the transfer of the EA navigations.

The Government is absolutely committed to delivering its exciting vision for a national trust for the waterways over the coming years and considers that over time the new waterways charity offers the most sustainable future for both the BW waterways and EA navigations.
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David Harvey

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PostSubject: Re: NEW WATERWAYS CHARITY – TRANSFER OF ENVIRONMENT NAVIGATIONS   Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:40 pm

Quote :
'phase 1, the liabilities and assets of British Waterways in England and Wales will transfer into the new charity, alongside an ‘endowment’ consisting of the property portfolio owned by British Waterways in England and Wales. In phase 2, the EA navigations would transfer to the new charity, if sufficient funding can be found in the next Spending Review to enable the charity to take on the liabilities associated with them, and subject to the agreement of the charity’s Trustees'

So no longer EA signs on the locks, what about the lock keepers. If it all is in the 3rd sector then how about pay.

The EA patrol boats, how are they funded, is that part ?

It is only proposals but raises an number of questions.

Be good to get either Colin of Jeff, our respective lock keepers views.
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PostSubject: Re: NEW WATERWAYS CHARITY – TRANSFER OF ENVIRONMENT NAVIGATIONS   Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:04 am

I've heard on the river grapevine, that it definitely, most definitely, isn't happening
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David Harvey

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PostSubject: Re: NEW WATERWAYS CHARITY – TRANSFER OF ENVIRONMENT NAVIGATIONS   Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:17 am

IWA Press Release

Issue Date: 01 March 2011

IWA Welcomes Progress on the Management of the Environment Agency Navigations


The Inland Waterways Association (IWA) welcomes the Government statement made on 28 February that its vision for a ‘National Trust’ for the waterways should include both the British Waterways’ and the Environment Agency (EA) navigations.

Clive Henderson, IWA national chairman, said:

‘I am in no doubt that the right way forward for Britain’s navigable inland waterways is for them to be managed by a third sector body and I welcome the Government’s announcement that the charitable body they intend to establish to manage British Waterways’ navigations should also manage the Agency’s navigations.

It is a little disappointing that the Environment Agency navigations will not be included in the charity from the outset. We have said all along that we saw considerable advantage in that approach. But we must move on and help to make this work.’

He went on to say:

‘Now that the Government has decided to proceed in a phased manner, with the British Waterways navigations vesting in the charity by 1 April 2012 and the EA navigations transferring during 2015/16, subject to review of the charity’s performance in 2014, it is vitally important that the preparation begins now. There must be ongoing co-ordination between the Government, EA, British Waterways and the new charity thereafter to keep momentum going on this initiative to ensure a smooth seamless handover of the EA waterways with the necessary funding in place. Richard Benyon has said that he is convinced that the vision of the new charitable body including the British Waterways’ and EA navigations is compelling and that the Government is absolutely committed to delivering its vision. With a process of proper preparation and implementation planning in place, the 2014 review and the next Spending Review should be no more than confirmation that delivery of that vision is on track.

He concluded by commenting:

‘I must however continue to register some concern about the Government funding of the charity. It looks like a very fragile funding package but it will be for the prospective transitional trustees to take a view on a funding package which they will regard as sustainable.’

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