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New Trust Council holds inaugural meeting

The Canal and River Trust began to take firmer shape in March, with the convening of the 35-member Council in Birmingham, and the confirmation of the transition trustees in permanent roles. 

In a surprise announcement, chairman Tony Hales said he would step down in April next year. However, no announcement was made about the BW directors, who were expected to continue in the same roles in the new Trust.  

Much of the focus of this inaugural meeting was in the members getting to know each other and understanding their role and powers. All council members are appointed for fixed four year terms.  One of their key tasks was to confirm the 11 transition trustees in their roles for an initial three years. 

The Council will meet twice yearly, with the next meeting scheduled for September.  All meeting minutes will be published online. 

Meanwhile, on 29th February Parliament began scrutinising the draft order for turning British Waterways into the new Canal & River Trust. The delays introduced by the extended negotiating over funding of the Trust means that Parliament’s approval is unlikely to be forthcoming before early May.  

The path to the new Trust has not been smooth. In particular, several people have questioned the legitimacy of the process that has led to the Council convening at all. To try to answer these questions, BW gave a six-point summary of the issues of setting up the new Canal & River Trust on its website, pointing out that Parliament had never attempted anything quite like this; there was no precedent to the process.   

Tuesday 3 April  | Andrew Denny  | 9.47am, Tuesday 3 April 2012

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