Memorandum by the Lincolnshire Area Environment
Group (IW 61)
THE POTENTIAL OF INLAND WATERWAYS
I am the Chairman of the Lincolnshire Area Environment
Group and on behalf of the Lincolnshire AEG, I would like to put
forward views to support the Environment Agency retaining their
current responsibilities for navigation, in particular focussing
on the River Ancholme in Lincolnshire.
The Agency's work over the last four years in
researching, consulting and preparing Local Environment Agency
Plans has been both wide-ranging and comprehensive. The result
provides a positive statement on each area's economic and social
well-being. That has been achieved by consulting extensively with
diverse local communities and combining expertise and local knowledge
from the Agency and associated partners.
Strong partnerships have emerged from this pro-active
approach. It is crucial, in order to safeguard improvements that
are now starting to show such worthwhile results, that future
environmental development should not be jeopardised by a change
of responsibilities of the Environment Agency as lead partners.
In relation to the River Ancholme, it is essential
that the river navigations currently managed by Agency remains
and the integrated whole river management continues. There are
numerous user groups who have been brought together by the Agency
and who look to the Agency to provide fair, impartial and knowledgeable
debate around the many issues surrounding the resolution of potentially
conflicting areas of operation. The Ancholme User Group, which
is chaired by the Agency, is unrivalled, both in its membership
and the understanding of the issues by the constituent members.
The Ancholme is a river that supports, recreation,
conservation and tourism. It is a site of historical structures
as well as an area earmarked for modern regeneration and there
are vital installations for water transfer schemes, telecommunication
equipment, water extraction, lock gates and flood defence. The
development of winter storage areas on farms is presently being
advanced by work through Environment Agency partnerships.
The establishment and furtherance of responsibilities
of riparian owners, Local Authorities, local organisations and
various wildlife trusts in conjunction with the Agency's statutory
duties combine most effectively to produce an integrated and holistic
environmental policy. This includes furthering partnerships with
the voluntary sector. To divorce the navigational responsibilities
from the rest of the strategy would be a most retrograde step
and a disaster for this particular river.
We wholeheartedly support the Environment Agency
to retain its current navigation responsibilities.
25 September 2000