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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 
 
Attendance: 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 
 Agreed 
on 9th September 2011 
 
 
 

 
3. Matters Arising  
None  
 
 
 
4.  Establishment of the 
 
Canal and River Trust 
 
 
 
a. Update on current 
MS stated that the new charity was now registered with the 
progress 
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 
 
 
 
i. Appointment 
of 
MGR reported that the interview process involved was extensive, 
Chairman. 
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. 
 
 
ii. Appointment 
of 
MS pointed out that the members of CRT Partnership are not 
members of the CRT 
appointed as direct representatives of any specific organisation 
Waterways 
but are selected for the contribution they can make to the general 
Partnership. 
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. 
 
 
iii. 
Discussions on future 
MGR recalled that he had tried to close the gap between this 
relationship between 
(HLF) Kennet and Avon Canal Partnership and the new CRT 
the CRT Waterways 
Waterways Partnership. However this has proved to be difficult in 
Partnership 
practice. He regretted this as it was clear to him that the 
 
relationship between the 2 groups needed to be close and 
 
functional. 
 
  
 
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 
 
was agreed. 
 
 
 
5. Report from British 
 
Waterways 
 
 
 
a. Report Back on 
MS reported that a large number of known canal defects have 
winter works 
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 
water shortages 
Kennet at Newbury is very low for the time of year and not 
and consequent 
responding as hydrologist had hoped. The Kennet is also less 
action 
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 
 
imposed. 
 
 
 
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 
 
this. 
 
 
 
MGR noted that BW has withdrawn permission for the long –
 
promised Marina near Hungerford to go ahead. 
 
 
d. Update on 
 
Moorings Strategy 
MS reported that: 
Work 
• 
A public consultation will run from end of May until the end 
 
of September. 
 
• 
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 
done.) 
 
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.  
 
 
 
6. AOB  
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 
changed? 
 
ACTION: MS TO INVESTIGATE
 
 
7.  Future meeting date  
TBA