|Volume 6, Number 6 - Winter 2006/2007|
Waterways Funding Crisis, Cont'd.
Unfortunately the problem won't go away. We have published IWA Chair John Fletcher's recent summary of the situation in full to show how complicated the situation is, and yet how necessary it is for individuals to do something as simple as signing a Petition, or going to a Campaign event, or writing to their MP. The more pressure there is upon DEFRA to see what underfunding the waterways means to people, the more they appreciate the political effects of their actions, the better the chance of reversing the cuts and of establishing a funding regime which enables our waterways to be better protected and maintained in the future.
Please read John's article, and if you haven't been moved to add your voice to the Campaign so far, I hope it will encourage you to do so now.
I did my bit on January 16th when I went on the protest cruise on the Thames to Parliament - it's a bit of a lean time for Society events, hence the copious photographs! We were lucky with the weather - two days later storms lashed the country and such a trip would have been risky, and would have been cancelled. 30 boats, with over 100 people aboard, took part, and hopefully the photographs give something of the flavour of this cruise through the capital's centre.
As I said in the last issue of CUTTINGS, British Waterways has been an active supporter of SCARS' aspirations to restore the Sankey. It will find it harder to do much in the future, with less resources to draw on. Unfortunately, for the reasons John Fletcher draws attention to in his article, and also because the Olympics are drawing other funds, such as those from the Lottery, away from projects such as ours, there is a real squeeze on all funding at this time. As we celebrate the achievements of Henry Berry and his supporters in seeing the Sankey open for business just two years after cutting it began, and admire their imagination and foresight, we cannot but hope that our own efforts will nevertheless bring "Success to the Navigation"... eventually.
David Long, Chairman, SCARS
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