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Lichfield MP says change will secure future of canal network

Lichfield’s MP has said the decision to restructure British Waterways will secure the future of the canal system in the Midlands.

Plans have been unveiled to convert the organisation into a charity.

Michael Fabricant

Michael Fabricant

And it is a decision that Michael Fabricant – patron of the Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust – believes will be a benefit in the long term.

The Conservative MP explained:

“The restructuring of British Waterways as a charity secures the continued maintenance of our canal system throughout Birmingham, Staffordshire, and the West Midlands. There had been concern that the Government plans to eliminate costly Government Quangos would also see the death of British Waterways who maintain our canals and tow paths.  But, thankfully, this is not to be.

“Our canal system generates large overseas tourist earnings, encourages wildlife, and maintains the environment and will continue to be maintained.”

Robin Evans, Chief Executive of British Waterways, added:

“We have called for this move for the last 18 months and the idea has widespread stakeholder and cross party support.  We believe this is great news for the waterways, securing investment and giving local people a greater role in the running of their canals and rivers.”

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.


  1. BrownhillsBob

    19th October, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Shame about the 50 million quid funding they’re going to lose. They can’t fix what’s wrong now, how on earth will they manage in future?

    More spin…


  2. Pingback: Making the cut on Britain’s canals – The Guardian

  3. Phil

    21st October, 2010 at 10:06 am

    Or, translated into English that’s, “we’re not going to get rid of British Waterways, we’re just going to palm it off to someone else and cut off it’s funding.”

    LHCRT may as well cut their losses and give up. Damn shame, imagine a canal running through Lichfield – icing on the cake.

  4. Freddy

    21st October, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    It’s not good but It could have been far worse and still might be. BW makes a lot of cash from a property portfolio, the worry is that the BW that goes to the so called third sector goes there without that property although at the moment it’s said that this won’t happen.

    We’ll see.