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IWA puts the waterways case to new MPs

PUBLISHED: 11:42 09 July 2015 | UPDATED: 11:42 09 July 2015

Etheridge and Fabricant

Etheridge and Fabricant

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Conservative MP Michael Fabricant (left) and Inland Waterways Association Chairman Les Etheridge are pictured indicating the position on the map of the Lichfield and Hatherton Canals restoration project – a scheme which Mr Fabricant has supported as it runs through his constituency.

Conservative MP Michael Fabricant (left) and Inland Waterways Association Chairman Les Etheridge are pictured indicating the position on the map of the Lichfield and Hatherton Canals restoration project – a scheme which Mr Fabricant has supported as it runs through his constituency.

They were at a drop-in reception hosted by IWA at the Houses of Parliament and attended by numerous Government and Opposition MPs. It was organised as a way of putting across IWA’s message to members of the new parliament regarding its ‘waterways manifesto’.

A main point of the manifesto is a call for the Environment Agency rivers (including the Thames, Great Ouse and Nene) to be transferred to the Canal & River Trust. This has been a long-time IWA objective in line with its founder Robert Aickman’s vision of a National Waterways Conservancy; CRT supports it but only if the waterways come with adequate financial support. While the Government has yet to commit to it, the new Waterways Minister Rory Stewart was seen making copious notes as the position was explained to him by senior representatives of IWA and CRT.

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