This news release was posted earlier in the week on B of the Blog and I feel more people should know about it and sign the petition. I have many memories of canals, from cycling, fishing, walking and even piloting the community barge, I for one want to keep them just the way they are, so if you have any feelings regarding canals please sign the petition, it only takes a moment.

Read the statement below for more information.

 

Lock 9 of the Ashton Canal at Clayton Lane, East Manchester (photo by Martin)

 

URGENT- Inland Waterways Association News FlashIn 1946 The Inland Waterways Association was formed to fight for the canals to be saved and revitalised so that the canals might benefit future generations. Campaigning for the conservation, use, maintenance, restoration and development of Britain's inland waterways.

THE GOVERNMENT INTENDS TO QUIETLY SELL OFF THE ENTIRE BRITISH WATERWAYS PROPERTY PORTFOLIO!

You may know about the media speculation that the Government intends to include the British Waterways’ property portfolio as a component of the £16bn asset sale.

The Government has made no announcements and is steadfastly refusing to be drawn on the subject.

We have been using this period of silence as a window of opportunity to lobby Ministers. We have orchestrated a political lobby in both the Commons and latterly the Lords to pressurise Government, and have briefed radio and national TV, using an array of reasons to support the argument that a sale would be in no-one’s interest.

We stand the best chance of preventing this sale if the Government can be persuaded not to do so, during this period of Ministerial silence. Whilst no announcements have been made, it is easier for Government to back away as it involves no public reversal of policy.

However, an e-petition has appeared on the 10 Downing Street website;

http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/protectourcanals/

IWA supports the statements in the petition. The worst outcome now that this is in the public domain, would be if this petition receives scant support. That might give Ministers the impression that there are few waterways supporters who care very much about the issue. On the other hand, if it is well supported, the Government, this close to an election, is very sensitive to actions it might take which may lose votes, and would probably take notice.

I am therefore urging you to sign up to this petition - if you agree with it, and ask that you encourage everyone that you know, to also sign up.

We need more signatures than our membership, or even the total number of boaters in the UK – So please ask all of your colleagues, friends and family and e-mailable contacts to help us today! – and ask them to pass this message on as well - we need all of the UK to know about this and to respond on line .

The future of the waterways could depend on your actions today – Please act, and pass this message on.

Thank you

Clive Henderson
IWA national chairman
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Jo Gilbertson
The Inland Waterways Association
Non-profit Distributing Company Limited by Guarantee No 612245
Registered Charity No 212342

Registered Office: Island House Moor Road CHESHAM HP5 1WA
Tel: 01494 783 453 Ext 611
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website: www.waterways.org.uk