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”
Aston Nature Reserve
Work to bring the Montgomery Canal back into use as a navigation must also protect habitats
Burslem Branch Canal Conservation Area
The Trent & Mersey Canal Conservation Area now includes Burslem Branch Canal.
The site on the Trent & Mersey Canal in Stone will have a development good for heritage and the community, thanks to our lobbying.
Aberdulais Aqueduct is a Grade II* listed building and Scheduled Ancient Monument at risk from the effects of climate change.
Hammersmith Bridge, an iconic heritage structure, is at risk from disagreements over funding and climate change.
LOVE YOUR WATERWAYS
Together we can protect and restore the waterways; Britain's 7,000 miles of canals and navigable rivers need your help.
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