Dealing with the rivers
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