Please write to your MP to raise concerns you may have for the waterway businesses and organisations in your local area. You may want to use some of the following key points as part of your letter, but it is best if each letter is unique.
The key issues are:
The inland waterways leisure industry is worth approximately £1.5bn to the UK economy but waterways businesses are disproportionately impacted because the majority do not have land premises that qualify them for existing Government support.
The high dependency on income during the spring and summer months means that the Covid-19 crisis has hit at the worst possible time, with annual expenditure already having been paid out in maintenance and running costs over the winter.
Most waterway businesses have had to cease trading completely while the current restrictions are in place. Some businesses have already closed permanently, with many more at significant risk of collapse before the end of the year.
Many inland waterway businesses have little or no access to the grants, loan schemes or rates rebates currently being offered by Government. Business owners are wary of taking on loans which would have to be paid back next year despite having lost this year’s income.
Please ask your MP to raise this matter with George Eustice MP, Secretary of State for Environment Food & Rural Affairs and Rishi Sunak MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer as a matter of urgency.
You could also suggest that your MP asks a Parliamentary Question on the subject. Some example questions that they could ask are:
Question for Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: “To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to support the call by national waterway organisations for £20m Covid-19 funding to support waterway businesses; and will he make a statement.”
Question for Chancellor of the Exchequer: “To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps the Treasury is taking to protect inland waterway based businesses impacted by Covid-19; and will he make a statement.”
Question for Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport: “To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to protect heritage and tourism on the inland waterways from the impact of Covid-19; and will he make a statement”
Proposed housing application at Froghall
A planning application has recently been submitted for land directly south of the basin at the start of the Uttoxeter Canal in Froghall.
Waterways affected by the HS2 plans
The latest HS2 Phase 2b Western Leg Design Refinement proposals affect the Ashton Canal and Rochdale Canal in Manchester.
Waterways in Progress Grant: Chesterfield Canal
£50,000 was awarded to Rewatering Renishaw Phase 1a project as part of IWA’s Waterways in Progress Grants.
Waterways in Progress Grant: Swansea Canal
IWA awarded £18,000 to the Swansea Canal Society’s Coed Gwilym Park Slipway Project as part of IWA’s Waterways in Progress Grants in 2019.
Waterways in Progress Grant: Wilts & Berks Canal
£13,960 was awarded the Shrivenham Canal Park Project as part of IWA’s Waterways in Progress Grants.
Love your waterways
Together we can protect and restore our waterways; the UK’s 6,500 miles of canals and rivers need your help.
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