All-Party Parliamentary Waterways Group

In March, the group called a meeting between waterway organisations and Thérèse Coffey MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Environment with responsibility for the waterways, and Richard Parry. However, it gave NABO only four days’ notice, so the Council was unable to find a member who could attend. Instead NABO was offered a chance to submit a question to the minister and we sent the following: ‘The primary charitable objective of the Canal and River Trust is to preserve, protect, operate and manage Inland Waterways for public benefit. The first item listed under this charitable objective is ‘for navigation’. However, there would appear to have been a deliberate change of language and focus recently and to many boaters it would appear that the Trust is now primarily interested in the ‘wellbeing’ of towpath users rather than the ‘wellbeing’ of the navigation and those that use it, thus causing many boaters to feel marginalised by the Trust. Does the Minister have a view on how different users can be fairly accommodated?’