A local resident has contacted Audlem Online to draw attention to 'Save our Waterways', a voluntary action group, dedicated to taking the
campaign against the cuts made by DEFRA to communities along the country's
canals and rivers. S.O.W. embraces all waterways users (anglers, boaters,
canoeists, cyclists, runners, walkers, etc.) and those who live and work
beside the waterways. The group says:-
"Owing to apparent calamitous mismanagement within the Department for
Environment Food & Rural Affairs, it has been unable to meet its obligations.
This was first realised during March 2006, when the first cut to British
Waterways' budget was made. Since then, the Department's financial position
has worsened. The department must pay a large fine to the European Union
for its failure to make prompt payments to farmers via the Rural Payments
"British Waterways has now made public that it has been told that its grant-in-aid for the financial year April 2006 to March 2007 has been cut by a further
7.5% (£4.5 million) in addition to the 5% (approximately £3.1 million) cut that
was made in March 2006 and that there is the possibility of a yet further cut of
2.5% (£1.5 million) to be applied this autumn. In total, this would mean a loss
of over £9 million to British Waterways in the year, with 15% of its grant-in-aid lost."
The group is urging people who are concerned for the canal system to write to their MP in protest, quoting their own specific reasons. The more who write and the more diverse the reasons, the better. MPs can be contacted via www.writetothem.com.
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