So Defra has at last revealed its allocation of funding for 2008-9 and BW is to get roughly the same as it did last year (as speculated before Christmas). Is that good or bad? Well a bit of both, really.
Why is it good? Because it could have been worse! There might have been a cut in the amount of money as there was last year. This moderately good outcome must be, at least in part, due to the continuing campaigns of Save Our Waterways, Inland Waterways Association and others, and the lobbying of MPs by supporters. It must also be due in part to the enlightened approach of the new Waterways Minister Jonathan Shaw. He has shown a willingness to meet and listen to waterway users and made positive initiatives such as setting up an Interdepartmental Working Group for waterways.
Why is it bad? Because it is still not enough! It is based on the amount given last year after the severe cutbacks had been made the previous year. BW is short of somewhere in the region of £25 million a year. It had to make huge reductions to its maintenance and repair programme this winter and this will only lead to larger repair bills in the future and could lead to further failures such as that at Gilwern.
We need you to keep up the pressure on MPs and ministers! Watch this website for the next stages of our continuing campaign!
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