Inland Waterways Advisory Council to be abolished

Published: Friday, 23 July 2010

IT'S STARTED—the new Government's assault on the money-wasting quangos, with the Inland Waterways Advisory Council the first waterways related one to go.

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman (pictured) today announced reforms including abolishing the Inland Waterways Advisory Council (IWAC), Alan Tilbury reveals.

The IWAC has expensive offices overlooking the Regents Canal, and was created by the Labour Government in 2007 as a successor to the Inland Waterways Amenity Advisory Council.

It is an independent statutory body advising Government, navigation authorities and other interested persons on matters relevant to Britain's inland waterways including the use and development of the waterways of England, Wales and Scotland.

Pointless reports

It produces rather pointless reports such as funding for overseas waterways; waterways to combat the effect of social exclusion; climate change effects on the waterways; balancing wildlife; more freight on the inland waterways and many. many more reports, that have little relation to the waterways of today, and is considered by many as nothing more than another level of bureaucracy.

In today's announcement Caroline Spelman commented:

"The effective delivery of public services is essential and I am committed to increasing the transparency and accountability of Defra's public bodies and to reducing their numbers and costs. Times have changed since many of these bodies were set up and much of what they do is now everyday Government business."

Abolition next year

The necessary approvals to carry out the abolition of IWAC will be made via the Public Bodies (Reform) Bill, which is expected sometime during 2011, and it is proposed that thereafter Defra will develop future policy in this area and strengthen relations with stakeholders who have an interest in inland waterways.

British Waterways will be meeting with other leading inland waterways stakeholder organisations to consider the implications of this announcement.