Confidential to members until formally approved
The Kennet and Avon Canal Partnership
Draft unconfirmed minutes of the meeting held on Friday 20th April 2012
at 2:30 at Devizes Wharf Centre
1. Welcome and Apologies
Bill Fisher (K&A Trade Association), David Inight
(KACT), David Lawrence (Bath and North East Somerset), Mark
Minkley (Bath and North East Somerset Council), Ken Oliver
(Wiltshire Council), Mike Rodd (KACT), Andrew Rowles (West
Berks Council), Mark Stephens (BW). In Attendance:
Rebecca Wells (KACT) Apologies:
Marion Livingston (Reading Borough Council), Fleur
de Rhe-Philipe (Wiltshire Council)
2. Minutes of last meeting held
on 9th September 2011
3. Matters Arising
4. Establishment of the
Canal and River Trust
a. Update on current
MS stated that the new charity was now registered with the
Charity Commission, and the proposed launch date is late June
2012: Devizes will be one of the a focal points for the launch..
11 Trustees have now been appointed and most of the 35
members of the Council either appointed or elected. Amongst
these are representatives of canal users and other interested
parties, as well as the 13 Waterways Partnership chairs.
The funding situation had been extensively revised and the final
settlement is far better than the initial proposals. CRT will be
responsible for the present BW property portfolio.
The question was raised as to what happens if the CRT fails.
MGR noted that there is a 2–stage process in the creation of the
new Trusts. BW liabilities and responsibilities have been placed
into a separate “holding” Trust. CRT is the organisation which
has been selected by government to run this holding Trust. If
CRT fails, the government will then have to find an alternative
organisation to operate the holding Trust.
b. Waterways Partnership for
K& A and B&T Canals
MGR reported that the interview process involved was extensive,
with interviews conducted by a committee consisting of Interim
Trustees and DEFRA nominees.
As a result of the interviews, FDRP was appointed as the
chairman of the K&A Waterways Partnership.
MS pointed out that the members of CRT Partnership are not
members of the CRT
appointed as direct representatives of any specific organisation
but are selected for the contribution they can make to the general
promotion and well-being of the waterways. There clearly,
though, also needs to be a broad range of relevant talents and
experiences. There would be a need, also, to ensure that major
stakeholders, including the KACT, were involved.
MS reported that interviews to remaining places on the
Partnership will be held shortly.
Discussions on future
MGR recalled that he had tried to close the gap between this
(HLF) Kennet and Avon Canal Partnership and the new CRT
the CRT Waterways
Waterways Partnership. However this has proved to be difficult in
practice. He regretted this as it was clear to him that the
relationship between the 2 groups needed to be close and
MGR suggested that that the (HLF) K&A Canal Partnership
should continue to meet twice a year, and operate in parallel with
the new Waterways Partnership. He also suggested that these
meetings could be held (partially) jointly with the CRT Waterways
Partnership, so reducing the reporting load on BW personal. This
5. Report from British
a. Report Back on
MS reported that a large number of known canal defects have
now been dealt with. There are many more that identified and
work continues to address these. Winter stoppage works
included locks at Hanham, Monkey Marsh, Hungerford Marsh,
Wire and the Crofton Flight.
There has also been an extensive stoppage at Bath and this did
run over time. It was hoped that this was communicated clearly
and little disruption caused.
Nationally, the Operations Budget was less than 1% underspent.
Locally, the K&A capitalised on the overall underspend by
overspending to the tune of 5%. This decreased the national
underspend figure and directly benefited the K&A by spending
money beyond our original allocation.
b. Present situation
MS gave an overview of the current situation and note that whilst
relating to severe
the Avon is resilient and its level comparable with last year, the
Kennet at Newbury is very low for the time of year and not
responding as hydrologist had hoped. The Kennet is also less
responsive to the present rain.
MS reported that these circumstances are unprecedented and
water resources are of major concern. Whilst current rainfall is
welcome it is unlikely to improve the situation significantly.
BW had thus embarked on an extensive programme to
encourage all users to conserve water, especially during locking
activities. He noted that volunteer lock-keepers were bringing
value to lock sharing, the practice being encouraged as a major
way forward to conserving water in the canal.
MS explained that Waterscape Notices would be continually
updated and explained his suggestion of Muster Points along the
canal (Crofton and Hungerford specifically), which would assist
with water conservation.
Longer-term prospects for the navigability of the canal were
discussed, including “restrictions” which might have to be
KO asked if people who live on boats help and MS stated that
they do and are very conscious of water issues.
c. Turbidity issues
MS reported that he has had meetings with Natural England to
and restriction of
talk about granting boat licenses and the implications this has
boat movement on
had on trade. He noted that nobody has complained about loss
the K & A
of trade as yet. He was presently revising the joint notice about
MGR noted that BW has withdrawn permission for the long –
promised Marina near Hungerford to go ahead.
d. Update on
MS reported that:
A public consultation will run from end of May until the end
The consultation will be asking for opinions on the outputs
of the Local Mooring Strategy Group (LMSG) as well as one or
two other additions that BW has developed to augment it.
The Waterway Partnership (WP) is forming a moorings
sub-committee (membership TBC) and it is hoped that it will lead
the analysis of the consultation responses.
MS noted that there remains a disparity in the LMSG (as
evidenced by their final submissions) as to the best solution to
properly control moorings. With this in mind BW wanted
widespread feedback to inform their final decisions. It is also
seen as a good transitional tool to help the WP moorings sub-
committee get an in depth feel as to the range of the views and
opinions among waterway stakeholders. After the consultation
and analysis of the results BW hoped that the WP moorings sub-
committee would come back with a final view which the WP
could then yay or nay (or tweak), and then move to
implementation (which BW would also like to think that the WP
might take an interest in – if only to be aware of what’s being
Member commented that they felt that it was a pity that there
had to be an additional public consultation as there was a lot of
effort put in to this already and there was much frustration that
there was no real progress.
KO raised the point that the 3 Riparian Councils presently
contributing to the maintenance of the canal (as a result of the
HLF funding agreement) are tied into agreements until 2018. The
Council budgets are expected (by government) to be cut and he
requested that it be investigated if there is any way that the
formula used to work out how much Councils contribute can be
ACTION: MS TO INVESTIGATE
7. Future meeting date