BRITISH WATERWAYS CORPORATE PLAN FOR
ENGLAND & WALES 2010/11
This plan was agreed by the Board of British Waterways in March 2010 and is at the request of
Defra for 2010/11 only as the outcome of the Spending Review (SR) in October will affect future
years. A new Corporate Plan for the period of the Spending Review (2011/12-2014/15) will be
published in 2011.
This Plan has been the subject of consultation with Defra who confirmed the approach in August
2010 after some agreed modifications. The figures are as at March 2010 and provide illustrative
guidance on future income. BW reserves the right to change these forecasts in the light of the SR,
market conditions and any Ministerial decision on the proposal to move British Waterways into the
civil society which is currently under consideration.
This plan should be read in this context, especially references to forecasts of future commercial
income, profits from joint ventures and other sources, operating costs etc which reflect current
information and economic circumstances at the date of publication.
Key Performance Indicators
Major risks and dependencies
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British Waterways – England & Wales Corporate Plan 2010-11
Statement of Purpose
Our purpose is to protect the historic waterways in our care, to secure and earn the necessary
funding, to grow the numbers who value and invest in them and to optimise the public benefit they
This statement of purpose sits above our vision statement and helps us to clarify with both internal
and external audiences what we are about. The foundation on which this Statement of Purpose is
based is a safe, well maintained, fit for purpose waterway network. This plan therefore places great
emphasis on developing our understanding of, and ultimately delivering, a 'sustainable waterway
This Corporate Plan for our business in England and Wales is a short term plan for the period
2010/11 only. We usually plan on a three or four year cycle but due to the likely significant changes
in funding as a result of the 2010 Spending Review and the proposals to move BW to the Civil
Society it is sensible to publish a plan for one year only.
Whilst success in delivering this plan will contribute towards the achievement of our longer term
strategic aims the major factors which influenced the content of this plan were:
The need to understand and explore the benefits of moving to the civil society and to build a model
that has widespread support
The general economic uncertainty in the UK economy, most notably in the property and financial
sectors that have a direct impact on our own business and the returns from our JV companies.
The need to operate within the shortfall in waterway maintenance expenditure which is required to
achieve our “sustainable steady state” and consequently concentrate on priorities and efficiencies
Our focus on delivering public benefit in the communities in which we operate
Business reorganisation in 2009
Our plan priorities for England and Wales have been informed by the following group strategic
Maintaining the network in satisfactory order
Achieving the shared Government/BW longer term vision of moving towards greater self sufficiency
through the growth of commercial business and other funding sources
Delivering a range of additional public benefits that are not indivisible from maintaining the network
which itself will deliver the main public benefit.
The following key priorities provide a context for the objectives we aim to achieve through this plan.
Continue to develop our understanding about the condition of the network and its maintenance
requirements to establish a long term affordable maintenance programme.
Ensure our risk management delivers a secure, safe environment for our people, contractors,
volunteers and visitors.
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Continue to challenge the cost base of the organisation and develop improved benchmarking to
drive further efficiencies and performance
Growing third party contributions towards steady state expenditure
Optimise the returns from our commercial portfolio, particularly in the context of the current
Be very clear as to the competencies and capabilities we require from our own people to achieve our
forward objectives and planned performance. Ensure that we retain, develop and recruit in
accordance with those requirements.
Grow the number of people using and appreciating our inland waterway network.
Establish long term understanding and commitment from Defra for grant funding to achieve their
Develop improved benchmarking throughout the business to help drive performance
Explore the benefits of moving to the civil society
Optimising the benefits that can come to our waterways as a consequence of the Olympics being
held around the Bow Back rivers
Improving our engagement with people and developing pilot projects and studies that might help us
in the civil society
Understanding and explaining to Defra the consequences of reduced grant in aid
Key Performance Indicators
We have agreed the following KPIs with Defra, which are explained below.
Infrastructure / Functionality
The key financial measure is the net commercial income, generated by BW, that we use to fund
works that deliver public benefit, such as waterway maintenance and major works, restorations and
regeneration activity. This target is referred to as Commercial Performance for which the Plan
targets are shown in section 3.
There are a number of individual efficiency measures that will be delivered and are included within
the planned figures. The business is still benefiting from last year‟s re organisation and further
efficiencies are still emerging. In summary the efficiency and savings initiatives are shown in the
Included in the plan
Included in the plan “Above the Line”
Included in the plan “Below the Line”
Total Included in the Plan
Above the line savings show through as enhanced Commercial Performance and thereby generate
more net income to fund below the line activities. Below the line refers to funds for delivery of public
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benefit. Efficiencies and savings here are not so readily identifiable in the figures because of the
scalable nature of the expenditure in Core and Major Works and our objective of increasing the
funds available in those areas. The below the line savings either enable the same output for a lower
cost or higher output for the same cost.
The below the line savings were allowed for, in approximate terms, in setting the Core expenditure
targets in this Plan. These savings and the effects of inflation and pay rises contribute the net
increase in Core expenditure of only 1% pa for the same level of output.
Infrastructure / Functionality
Our KPI target for the condition of Principal Assets was for D&E classified assets not to exceed an
aggregate percentage of 21% of the total number of Principal Assets. The Plan target for waterway
Minimum Safety Standards is 100% for each year of the Plan. A Stewardship Score measure is
under development and it is planned to establish the score retrospectively as at 31st March 2009
once the components and weightings of the score are agreed.
We will measure infrastructure condition and waterway functionality using three measures:
Principal Asset Condition Grade
Principal Assets are monitored through the Asset Inspection Programme and are given a condition
grade from A (new) to E (at risk of failure). We are targeting, but only have a commitment to March
2011, a “holding” position until March 2012 such that D&E grade assets do not exceed 21% of the
total. By March 2012 we wil have achieved “holding state” for 5 consecutive years. There is a risk if
we keep extending holding state by one year at each new corporate plan. This may give a false
assurance as to the robustness of the network as eventually the underfunding of maintenance will
cause more noticeable deterioration in asset condition.
Principle Asset Condition
Minimum Safety Standards
These were published in 2008 and represent a series of objective measures, the achievement of
which will ensure that the network is safe to use. A 100% achievement against these standards is
targeted in each year of the plan. Performance will be reported annually.
The proposed Stewardship Score is intended to provide an outcome measure of the overall state
and functionality of the waterway and the public benefit delivered. We originally set out to find a
suitable approach used by another organisation that we could learn from and adapt to suit our own
network but despite efforts to do so this approach did not identify any such systems in other
organisations. We have therefore developed our own methodology which has been assessed and
tested by Deloitte based on data as at 2009. Further validation of the methodology is being
undertaken by Deloitte with a view to reassessing the Stewardship Score as at March 2010. This
will then be updated and reported on annually from 2011
We measure the public‟s assessment of the value of our waterways and report this as a KPI. This
measurement is assessed by asking 1,000 adults in Great Britain the extent to which they agree or
disagree with the following statement, “Canals are an important part of the nation‟s heritage”. The
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target score is for 90% to say they agreed or strongly agreed with the statement. We also survey
users of the waterways in respect of their “propensity to recommend” their particular activity to
others. The KPI is framed on the percentage that would “definitely recommend”. The number of
visits to the waterways is surveyed over fortnightly periods and averaged into an annual score.
We undertake a range of market research to monitor customer service and satisfaction. The value
of the waterways, the propensity to recommend and number of visits are all monitored for BW by
independent market research agencies. We will report on the following key areas:
Public Assessment of the value of our Waterways
We ask 1,000 adults in Great Britain the extent to which they agree or disagree with the following
statement “canals are an important part of the nation’s heritag
e”. The result is assessed annually,
with a target of 90% saying they agree or strongly agree with the statement. The 2008 baseline
survey result was 90% who either agreed or strongly agreed with this statement. We shall report on
this result annually.
Propensity to Recommend
Customer surveys with boat owners, holiday boaters, visitors to destinations and general towpath
users ask respondents about their propensity to recommend a visit to the destination, or a boating
holiday etc. to their friends and family. Results from across the year are collated and assessed
annually. The table below shows the target set for each customer group for the “definitely
response to the surveys.
* These surveys will be undertaken in alternate years.
Number of Visits
Increasing the number of visitors (people) using the waterways is an important target for us, not least
in assessing the level of public benefit that we are delivering. More visitors means more people are
benefiting from our waterways, possibly for the first time, rather than just existing customers visiting
We assess the number of visitors to our waterways through a telephone survey. The survey runs
continuously through the year, speaking to a sample of 11,500 people representative of the UK
population. The survey asks people if they have visited a waterway in the last two weeks – any
longer and people tend to forget. When the results are analysed and extrapolated to the population
we know that in typical two week period in 2008, 3.4 million (2007; 3 million) people visited a BW
managed waterway in England and Wales. In view of the reduction in marketing spend driven by
budgetary constraints we are retaining the 3.5 million target by March 2011.
Financial Projections Summary
This Plan focuses on securing and earning the necessary funding both by maximising sources of
income and by seeking efficiencies and cost reductions. It is assumed that the economic
circumstances in early 2010 will result in material cuts in Government grant funding, particularly in
England and Wales over the Spending Review period. These anticipated cut backs will require
further challenging reductions in operating costs. At the time of preparing this Plan the
2010/11grant has been confirmed by Defra at approximately the amount included in this Plan.
The current business context is that BW is in the post implementation stage of the major structural
reorganisation undertaken in 2009. These changes were far reaching and transformational. The
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year ahead in 2010 will be a proving period in which the new structure beds down and is required to
deliver the savings and level of operational effectiveness anticipated. Some further minor
adjustments to the structure may well be necessary as the year progresses.
This Plan does not include any financial assumptions for the project to convert BW into a charitable
entity because no firm decision has yet been made. However an allowance for the estimated costs
of developing the civil society proposals is included. The net benefits of charitable status and
voluntary income would be expected to accrue in the years that are beyond the range of this Plan.
The recent recession and depressed property market has caused BW‟s joint venture activities to
incur continued losses. At the date of this Plan there is £135m (gross before impairments) of capital
invested in the JVs. It is assumed in this Plan that the recovery of these activities into profit occurs
beyond the time range of the Plan. The current funding of revenue deficits with commercial capital
funds is unsustainable in the longer term and is being undertaken as a temporary expedient for the
purpose of maintaining waterway expenditure during the downturn. This transfer of funds from
capital to revenue will reduce the future potential growth in annual income due to the investment
The Plan figures were finalised in March 2010 at which time the final year results for the year ended
31/03/10 were not known accurately. The comparison figures for 2009/10 are therefore the „F10‟
forecast for the full year based in the actual results known as at the end of January 2010 (reporting
Commentary on Financial Performance
A revenue deficit is planned for 2010/11 because we want to maintain spend on repairs and
maintenance at a similar level as previous years. We do not have the revenue income to achieve
this, and meet all our other commitments, so we have decided to incur a revenue deficit for this year.
In cash flow terms this was funded by a transfer of cash from commercial capital to the extent that
there was insufficient working capital in the trading bank account to bear the revenue deficit.
Commercial income, excluding Leisure income and JVs, shows only modest growth. In Property this
reflects the overhang of recessionary market conditions with underlying rental growth assumed at an
average of 1.5%. This is boosted to an assumed 2.5%. for the effects of new property investments.
Leisure income is assumed to grow modestly in 2010/11, reflecting the assumptions on boat licence
numbers and income yield. The growth in JV income
in year 1 reflects BW‟s share of the sales of
apartments in Isis, for which there is a corresponding operating cost to be deducted, resulting in an
approximate breakeven profit/loss position within Isis.
The Property and Leisure CBIT figures show the benefit of the structural reorganisation and further
cost saving assumptions with margins improved. It should be noted that the cost of the property
management teams and the boating management teams are deducted from the income to arrive at
the business area CBITs.
The „management costs‟ category includes all the newly formed national teams (not property and
leisure) together with centralised services, HQ and waterway unit teams. The efficiency savings that
are included in the Plan are explained in section 3.6 below.
One primary objective of this Plan has been to try to maintain the E&W “below the line” funding for
public benefit delivery at an approximately constant level of output despite the Defra grant cuts. In
assessing constant output for Core Waterway, allowance has been made for the efficiencies to be
achieved and the cost savings yielded by the structural reorganisation, as well the expected
increases in some regulatory and environmental costs.
In Major Works, after adjusting for the effects of “fiscal stimulus” advance grant funding, the
underlying average level of Major Works is around £26m in E&W. The net spend on E&W
Regeneration activity is planned at around £4m p.a. It is assumed that the Regeneration activity will
yield outputs that contribute to Steady State priorities or waterway asset maintenance priorities. The
allocation of this “below the line” expenditure between these business areas will require continuing
value analysis to understand where these limited resources should be allocated to best effect.
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The table below shows CBIT by business area (“Contribution before Interest and Tax”). Operating
costs that are directly attributable to a business area are deducted from the income for that area in
arriving at CBIT. Other operating costs, i.e. national and shared costs, are shown under the
“Management Costs” category and not reallocated to business areas.
Figures in £k
BW Managed Property
British Waterways Marinas Limited
BW Share of Joint Ventures
Total Commercial Income
Waterway Unit Management Costs
Funds for Public Benefit Delivery
Funds for Public Benefit Delivery
BW Managed Property
British Waterways Marinas Limited
BW Share of Joint Ventures CBT
Net Commercial Income
Waterway Unit Management Costs
Net Commercial Performance
Total Net Income
Funds for Public Benefit Delivery
Funds for Public Benefit Delivery
Gains/(Losses) on Disposal (exc. Joint Ventures)
CBT - Capital
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Revenue Performance - Plan Highlights and Assumptions
Investment property CBIT dips markedly in 2010/11 reflecting the full year effect of the property
disposals in 2009, the transfer of industrial sites to the development sector, continued income loss
from the residential disposal programme and non recurring income arrears received in 2009/10 in
the office sector. BW expects to invest £15m in new property in 2010/11, the effects of which are
modelled within ancillary income but will arise in the appropriate investment/development sector as
proposals are approved.
The principal property KPIs are:
Investment Property income return
Rental voids as a % of lettable space
Residential property disposals
Development Property total return
Capital value growth % pa
British Waterways Marinas Ltd
The growth in BWML‟s CBIT is based on a planned upgrade in the standard of the moorings
together with conversion of some moorings to full residential status thereby generating increased
pricing. A capital expenditure programme is planned to improve the standard of existing moorings
both to maintain the competitive position of marinas in areas of high supply and to increase the
income yield elsewhere. The total number of moorings is not planned to increase materially and
therefore only a modest increase in operating costs is planned.
Boat Licence income growth is planned through a combination of volume increases, price inflation
and reducing licence evasion. In the short term there are two priority areas. Firstly, the high profile
enforcement regime, which is targeted to reduce evasion from the current 4.5% to 3% by March
2011. Secondly, the expansion of online licence renewals with a target of one third of renewals in
2010/11 with associated operating cost reductions.
Mooring income will be enhanced through securing residential consent at a carefully selected list of
sites and the active management and control of voids. Leisure property income will be developed
through close management of the rent review process and acquisition where appropriate. It is also a
strategic priority to enhance our business relationships with the boating trade.
Isis is assumed to complete the sales of the apartments at Manchester and Leeds and recommence
development activities at its other sites. Continuing progress on preparing the Wood Wharf site for
development is assumed in the Plan. Other JVs such as H2O Urban and City Road Basin are
assumed to make continuing progress on their small portfolio of development sites. This stream of
future profits, and the transactions from which they are derived, is a vital contribution towards
eliminating the E&W revenue deficit. To reflect the underlying property values the investments in
Waterside Pubs and Gloucester Quays have been written down to nil as at Marcy 2010 with no
recovery in values assumed in this Plan.
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Management costs in 2009/10 include the £3.45m estimated cost of the 2009 reorganisation
together with five months of the benefit of the changes (November 2009 to March 2010).
HQ includes the Board, Executive, Secretarial and Internal Audit, Financial Control teams, External
Comms and PR, The Waterways Trust contribution and the pension deficit contributions. It also
includes approx £1m pa for canal rates, which are currently being appealed.
The Central Services heading includes the cost of the national and centralised teams dealing with
Legal, HR, ICT, Shared Service Centre, Town Planning, national office accommodation (not
waterway operational bases), Marketing and Communications, Customer Relations, Safety,
Engineering, Asset Management, Water Management, Environment Operations and Heritage.
This area of expenditure covers all the day to day costs of repairing and maintaining our waterways
together with the costs of providing customer services to boaters and visitors to the network.
The increase in net costs represents a theoretically constant rate of output spend after allowing for
cost increases arising from inflation and new legislation and the effect of 2009 reorganisation and
continuing efficiency projects. The waterways are now organised into 11 waterway units instead of
the eight business units prior to the reorganisation.
Expenditure is targeted towards maintaining the achievement of our published minimum safety
standards; replacing some 200 lock gates on the basis of a clearly established priority list based on
a condition assessment; a planned preventative maintenance programme designed to enhance
asset lives before major works or replacement is required; vegetation management to deliver
reasonable customer standards and usability; and regulatory compliance in respect of buildings and
mechanical/electrical installations. In addition we respond to reactive maintenance requirements
again assessing need and priority before committing funds.
This area covers the expenditure on major repairs to waterway infrastructure with a value in excess
After adjusting for the “fiscal stimulus” advance grant funding, the underlying average level of Major
Works over the two years to 2010/11 is around £26m p.a. This level of funding enables us to focus
on repairs to assets with a high consequence of failure; on reservoir works in the interests of safety
(as required by statute); and a prioritised programme of dredging and culvert inspections. As only
high priority works are being undertaken there is a consequent impact on reactive works in core
waterway as asset lives are extended, through “a make do and mend” approach, until works become
a priority item. A schedule showing the areas of planned spend in 2010/11 is shown below.
Planned Spend on Major Works £ms
D & E Assets
Minimum Safety Standards
Other Principal Assets
Non Principal Assets
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This area covers all the income we achieve from third parties, notably Local Authorities, Lottery and
Regional Development Authorities, for repairs and improvements to our waterways that produce
public benefit outputs sought by those bodies
The net spend on Regeneration activity is planned at around £4m. It is assumed that the
Regeneration activity will yield outputs that contribute to Steady State or waterway asset
maintenance priorities. The allocation of “below the line” expenditure between Core, Major Works
and Regen will require further value analysis to understand where BW‟s limited resources should be
allocated to best effect.
3.4.10 Grant Funding
The base Defra grant in 2009/10 was £57.4m. We were informed in 2009 that this will reduce by
£4.6m to £52.8m in 2010/11 but this is further reduced by £5m to claw back the advanced funding of
£5m that was brought forward into 2008/09. Based on the information available at the time of
preparing this Plan Based the 2010/11 grant assumption was reduced by a further 3% (£1.7m) to
£46.1m. Since the Plan was prepared the 2010/11 grant has been confirmed at £46.323m
compared with £46.1m assumed in this Plan.
3.4.11 General Assumptions and KPIs
The general assumption for inflation and pay rises is 2% in 2010/11. Since this Plan was prepared
an annual pay rise for 2010 of 1.5% has been agreed for all staff below senior manager level. There
has been no annual pay rise for 2010 for senior managers and executive directors.
Cash management in BW is divided between the trading account (for revenue transactions) and the
commercial capital account (for capital transactions). The trading account operates in a normal
monthly range of between £5 and £20m as the various inflows and outflows occur during the month.
The Government grant funding is profiled to match the annual expenditure profile so that the cash
balance does not deviate excessively from the target range of £5m to £20m. In this Plan there is a
transfer of £10m from commercial capital to the trading account planned for 2010/11 to fund the
cash effect of the planned revenue deficit in that year. Some of the losses reported in that year are
in JV‟s which have no immediate cash effect on the trading bank account.
Efficiencies and Savings
The business reorganisation undertaken in 2009 has been the major contributor to efficiency savings
in this Plan. The expected annualised saving from the reorganisation in 2010/11 is planned to be
£4m split approximately £3.2m above the line and £0.8m below.
Other material savings above the line comprise reductions in office accommodation coats, savings
on the company car scheme, and reductions in office administration costs. In aggregate these
savings are expected to be £4.6m for the 2010/11 year. These savings contribute directly towards
maintaining below the line expenditure.
3.6.3. Efficiencies and savings in below the line expenditure areas (general and major works programmes)
total £3.9m in this Plan for 2010/11 and involve savings in project management team costs,
consolidation of sub-contractors into national contracts, savings from the 2009 reorganisation and
changes to the company car scheme. After allowing for inflationary cost increases, these savings
have enabled the same level of output to be delivered for an increase in total costs in money terms
of approximately 1% over the previous year‟s costs.
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Joint Venture Profits
JV performance has previously been identified as our most volatile business area and the economic
climate in the past year has served to crystallise some of the identified risk. Uncertainty remains on
the timing and value of future profits. We are though confident of longer term success and continue
to work with our partners to stabilise these businesses and prepare for improved economic
circumstances whilst minimising the cash outflows and ongoing risk. We are not planning for
significant returns from these ventures until 2013/14. The specific risks are property performance,
bank covenant compliance and JV partner financial robustness.
In common with the joint ventures but to a lesser extent, as direct development is not undertaken in
our property business area, the performance of our property portfolio is influenced by market
performance and other external factors. Of particular importance is our ability to secure planning
permissions, achieve planned disposals, or maintain low levels of vacant properties in order to
achieve acceptable returns on our equity investment. The significant reductions in capital values in
2008/09, triggered by the worldwide reaction to the credit crunch, are expected to gradually recover
through 2010/11 but with no significant improvement until 2012/13
The plan includes an increase in licence revenue due primarily from a continuation of our improved
performance in reducing licence evasion. Whilst our income from boating has held up well to date,
we will need to keep these figures under careful review in the current economic circumstances.
We plan to „hold‟ the condition of the network as outlined above. We are not therefore planning to
improve the overall condition of our assets, but we do not anticipate that this will result in an increase
in the number of asset failures. However, with many of our structures aged 200 years or more, this
is clearly a risk. The repair and refurbishment work we undertake have inherent risks associated
with the age and condition of our assets to the extent that costs cannot always be accurately
predicted at the planning stage.
Government spending reviews and cuts may result in the levels of grant assumed in this plan being
Upsides & Downsides
The Plan makes assumptions about future transactions that may or may not occur. These items are
not accurately predictable and some downside risk may be realised if certain expected property
transactions are not concluded. Similarly there are possible transactions that are excluded from the
Plan that may come to fruition.
This Plan includes some stretching targets for further efficiencies and savings. Whilst there are a
number of specific plans to achieve this, there are some general targets included that are yet to be
confirmed as both practical and achievable without compromising the operational capability of the
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There is a contingency of £2.6m to allow unexpected and unforeseen events.
The past decade has seen an increase in the network length of around 10% through the restoration
of previously derelict waterways. There have been some notable achievements in this time with very
successful partnerships having been formed and developed. We have also benefited enormously
from National Lottery Funding through the Heritage Lottery Fund.
We are now at a point where the major restoration schemes are more or less complete, though there
remain many more smaller schemes that are being managed by volunteer groups and independent
trusts. The Droitwich Canal restoration is the last major project on site and will be completed in
With regard to other restoration projects British Waterways will be an interested observer rather than
a direct participant. We will not, in a time of constrained resources, commit funds to the expansion
of the network which could jeopardise our primary purpose of securing the existing network. We are
though interested to see further restoration schemes completed by others, especially if these
schemes can connect to our network, and we will, where possible, offer advice and guidance to
BW is responsible for a nationally important historic estate and the third largest collection of listed
buildings and structures in the UK. Our estate also includes 45 scheduled monuments, conservation
areas, archaeological sites as well as being within the boundaries of four World Heritage Sites.
This heritage endowment creates much of the essential character of the waterways and for British
Waterways this is a business critical dimension. It is our policy and practice to repair rather than
renew for both heritage and environmental sustainability reasons. We seek to sustain heritage
wherever possible and often heritage assets act as a catalyst and foundation for our development
proposals. In seeking to be a model of best practice we contribute to DCMS‟s broad agenda on
valuing, safeguarding and interpreting the historic environment and we are in the vanguard of
preparing Heritage Partnership Agreements in advance of changing heritage legislation. Our
Heritage is a key element in our drive towards making the waterways a valued national asset.
This plan focuses on the achievement of 100% legal compliance in heritage matters as an absolute
baseline; the delivery of work standards judged as “Excellent”; the opening up of our heritage for
public appreciation, education and enjoyment; the ongoing reduction of Buildings at Risk and
enhanced competence and awareness amongst BW staff and volunteers through training and
We aim to become an increasingly environmentally sustainable organisation and to use our network
to assist others to do likewise. We have introduced an auditable Environmental Management
System based on the principles of ISO 14001. Water, both corporately and for the UK as a nation, is
one of our most precious resources and we are committed to effective and responsible management
of water supplies in times of both drought and flood. We will continue to invest in, develop and
exploit our state of the art SCADA water management system.
Our concern and care for our environment extends to all corners of our business including
development of micro generating hydro facilities, offering canal water for the cooling of buildings,
choice of vehicles limited to those that meet Euro V emission standards, sourcing of raw materials,
repair rather than replacement policies, waste reduction and recycling activity, exploitation of video
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conference technology to reduce business mileage and the prior appraisal of all canal maintenance
works against our published Environmental Code of Practice.
Our focus on and commitment to responsible and sustainable environmental policy and practice
ensures that we are contributing positively to the Government‟s Structural Reform Plans (SPR)
which set priorities and measurable milestones. Defra‟s SRP also sets out a series of actions to
achieve these priorities, which include:
pursuing a zero waste agenda and launching a national tree planting campaign;
publishing a Natural Environment White Paper, setting out measures to protect wildlife and promote
legislating to make it a criminal offence to allow illegal timber to enter the UK market;
supporting economic growth in rural areas;
publishing a White Paper on reform of the water industry to ensure more efficient use of water and
protect poorer households.
BW already has management systems and initiatives in place to address these proposed actions to
the extent that they will affect BW‟s activities. BW‟s existing Environmental Management System
and our draft Action Plan for Sustainable Development includes major emphasis on carbon
reduction, waste management and recycling, sustainable procurement, public benefit assessments
and environmental codes of practice and appraisals.
In April 2009 we launched our 2020 vision that proposed that BW should move from the public
sector to what is now known as the Civil Society, ie become a charity.
Defra ministers have welcomed this proposal and have asked us to continue developing the model
and engage with users of our waterways to achieve a consensus as to the future governance and
funding for the waterways. We are delighted to be doing this and with the general level of support we
are receiving from all interested parties.
Ministers will not make any final decision until the results of this year‟s Spending Review are known
because we need to have the certainty of a sufficient level of future grant support before any move
outside the public sector can be achieved. Ministers also want to consult the public on the detail of
any preferred governance and funding structure before making a final decision.
We hope therefore that ministers will be in a position to make a decision in principal this autumn and
then following a public consultation make a definite decision in the Spring of 2011.
30 August 2011
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