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The Column of the National Chairman Since 1946 when IWA was formed volunteers have played an important part in saving and subsequently developing the waterways. It is important to recognise the work and achievements of so many people whose work has given us the wonderful network we enjoy today. At times the work of volunteers has not been properly recognised and at times it has appeared that by some organisations it has simply been written out of history. Sadly I have recently seen this happen again and have made IWA’s view clear to the relevant organisation. The importance of volunteers is now much better understood by those running the waterways and I welcome the number of people coming forward to do all sorts of jobs around the system. Nearly a year after the launch of the Canal & River Trust we will see a change of Chief Executive with the retirement of Robin Evans. I wish his successor well and hope he or she will have the skills and expertise to develop the management of our inland waterways in the charity sector. The new Chief Executive will have a tremendous opportunity to make a mark on waterways history. A big current issue for the inland waterways is the new high speed rail link HS2. It is not for IWA to determine whether or not this should go ahead. It is for IWA to fight to protect the inland waterways. We have setup a working group to ensure that we understand the views of members and are able to respond accordingly. Updates will be provided twice a month in Bulletin so please do read them and send any thoughts or suggestions to or by post to Head Office marking them HS2. Moorings and the failure by some boaters to follow the rules is a contentious issue. A significant part of the problem has been the lack of enforcement. Steps are now being taken to rectify this along with consultation about possible changes. Our waterways are used and enjoyed by lots of different people who want different things from them. Any changes need to recognise this and ensure that everybody gets a fair opportunity to enjoy the waterways to the full.

March was the second coldest on record having only been “beaten” by 1947. As 1947 also had one of the hottest summers on records let’s hope we can look forward to something similar in 2013. Enjoy the waterways and all the events IWA is organising during the year.

Les Etheridge

IWA waterways - Summer 2013 |

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23/4/13 10:06:38

IWA Waterways Magazine Summer 2013  

IWA Waterways Magazine Summer 2013