Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee

British Waterways

British Waterways

Government response to be published

The Committee published ' British Waterways: follow-up', its Eighth Report 2007-08 (HC 438), on 1 July 2008. The Report contains the oral and written evidence.

The Government Response was published on 15 October 2008.

The Committee published ' British Waterways', its Seventh Report 2006-07 (HC 345-I), on 31 July 2007.

Oral and Written Evidence (HC 345-II) was also published on 31 July 2007.

The Government Response (HC 1059) was published on Wednesday 17 October 2007.

Inquiry reopened (22 February 2008)

The Committee held two evidence sessions on British Waterways (BW), to follow up its work in this area last year (Seventh Report of Session 2006-07, HC 345-I).

The Committee took oral evidence from both Defra and British Waterways to examine BW's regeneration and restoration role, with particular reference to BW's decision to withdraw from the Cotswold Canal Partnership.

The Committee invited all interested parties to submit a brief written memorandum setting out their views on this matter. The deadline for accepting memoranda has passed.

Initial Terms of Reference (1 December 2006)

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee will inquire into the work of British Waterways, a Defra-sponsored public corporation.

The Committee will examine how British Waterways is working towards its ambition of creating "an expanded, vibrant, largely self-sufficient waterway network", in the context of the policies set out by the Government in Waterways for Tomorrow (published in 2000), the most recent policy review of British Waterways (carried out in 2004-05), and recent changes in Defra's budget.

The Committee will consider in particular:

- current users of the waterway network and their relationships with British Waterways

- the financial framework of British Waterways and the impact of changes in Defra's budget

- recent developments in the stewardship work and commercial activities of British Waterways, including its property portfolio

- potential for growth in leisure and freight use of the waterways network

- relationships between British Waterways and central Government departments, Regional Development Agencies and local authorities.

The deadline for written submissions has passed.

Sub-Committee membership (Original Inquiry)

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee nominated the following Members to its British Waterways Sub-Committee on 24 January 2007 (*appointed 28 March 2007):

Mr David Drew MP
Rt Hon Michael Jack MP
Mr David Lepper MP
Mrs Madeleine Moon MP
Sir Peter Soulsby MP
Mr David Taylor MP*
Mr Roger Williams MP

David Drew MP was elected Chairman of the Sub-Committee.

The Sub-Committee was discharged on 21 May 2007,  re-appointed on 23 May 2007 and then discharged 4 July 2007.

Oral evidence sessions

Previous sessions:

Wednesday 19 March 2008
Jonathan Shaw MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Marine, Landscape & Rural Affairs), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Tuesday 18 March 2008
British Waterways

Tuesday 8 May 2007
British Waterways

Monday 23 April 2007
Parliamentary Waterways Group; Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Monday 16 April 2007
(held at the National Waterways Museum, Gloucester)
Steve Davis, Dr Paul Woollam and Sir Adrian Stott Bt; Mr Simon Robbins, Del Brenner and Mr John Keyes; Nicholas MacWhirter, Mr Richard Clements and Ms Cathy Cooke; The Waterways Trust

Monday 12 March 2007
Sea & Water and Commercial Boat Operators Association; British Waterways

Monday 5 March 2007
British Marine Federation; Environment Agency; Inland Waterways Amenity Advisory Council

Monday 26 February 2007
Inland Waterways Association; England's Regional Development Agencies; Institution of Civil Engineers

Press Notices

08/10/08 Government responses to be published
01/07/08 Report published
19/06/08 Report to be published
06/03/07 Evidence sessions announced
22/02/08 Inquiry reopened
09/01/08 Committee publish letter from NAO
11/10/07 Government responses to be published
31/07/07 Report published
24/07/07 Report to be published
24/04/07 Further evidence session announced
29/03/07 Witnesses at Gloucester evidence session announced
28/02/07 Invitation to individuals to give oral evidence
28/02/07 New witness added to evidence session
20/02/07 Evidence sessions announced 
25/01/07 Sub-Committee membership announced
01/12/06 New inquiry