Deal­ing with the rivers

Canal Boat - - Letters - ALI­SON SMED­LEY, IWA Cam­paigns Of­fi­cer

IT’S DIS­AP­POINT­ING THAT John Fitzger­ald ( CB, March) has mis­un­der­stood the In­land Wa­ter­ways As­so­ci­a­tion’s cam­paign for the trans­fer of nav­i­ga­tional re­spon­si­bil­ity for the En­vi­ron­ment Agency’s nav­i­ga­ble rivers to the Canal & River Trust.

IWA is not sug­gest­ing that CRT is bet­ter placed to deal with flood de­fences than EA, and IWA fully agrees that flood con­trol, pol­lu­tion and other en­vi­ron­men­tal re­spon­si­bil­i­ties for our rivers must re­main with gov­ern­ment and the EA. In fact, IWA be­lieves that with­out the dis­trac­tion of main­tain­ing nav­i­ga­tion, EA would be bet­ter able to fo­cus its re­sources on these vi­tal ac­tiv­i­ties.

The di­vi­sion of re­spon­si­bil­i­ties be­tween EA and CRT on the Rivers Sev­ern and Trent works well and al­lows each or­gan­i­sa­tion to con­cen­trate on its core re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

And far from “pres­suris­ing CRT to take over EA rivers”, IWA has con­sis­tently stated that any trans­fer of nav­i­ga­tional re­spon­si­bil­i­ties must be ac­com­pa­nied by a re­al­is­tic fi­nan­cial pack­age to en­able CRT to dis­charge the ad­di­tional re­spon­si­bil­i­ties with­out detri­ment to its ex­ist­ing wa­ter­ways.

Ul­ti­mately, any pro­posal for the trans­fer to take place must be sub­ject to the de­ci­sion of CRT’s board of Trustees, which has a duty to en­sure that any agree­ment is in the best in­ter­ests of the char­ity.

Bright win­ter’s morn­ing...Ashby Canal

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