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Plans to create the New Waterways charity to secure the future of more than 4,000 kilometres of canals and rivers in England and Wales, set out today, have been welcomed by Mid Worcestershire MP Peter Luff.

The Government announced last year that the publicly-owned inland waterways, currently managed by British Waterways and the Environment Agency, should in future be managed by a new charity, and in a Written Ministerial Statement today Environment Minister, Richard Benyon, announced the publication of the Government’s Consultation on the New Waterways Charity.

Peter Luff, whose Mid Worcestershire constituency includes the Droitwich canals, and long sections of the River Severn and the Worcester Birmingham canal, all managed by British Waterways, said,

“This is good news for our canals in Worcestershire and for the River Severn. The plans will secure the waterways’ long-term, sustainable financial future by enabling the new body to access new sources of income and greater public support, and give local people a greater say in their upkeep”.

Ministers are seeking people’s views on the new charity and proposals including:

• A governance model to foster local engagement and ownership
• The charity’s constitution and
• Improving the long – term financial sustainability of the waterways.

Peter commented,

“The Droitwich Canals in my constituency, due to reopen later this year, are important pieces of heritage, havens for wildlife and vital for recreation and leisure. I welcome the Government’s plans to unlock the true potential of the waterways – it will mean that they are valued and enjoyed by even more people. The Droitwich canals are being reopened thanks to the power of local people, councils and others and to the expertise of British Waterways. This charity model is the right way forward to build on that kind of successful local partnership.”


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