Government have decided to reject the Canal and River Trust’s recent proposal to take over management of EA waterways so the non tidal Thames will continue to be managed by the Environment Agency for the foreseeable future.
Management of the river has suffered some paralysis whilst the proposed transfer was under consideration but now that this elephant in the room has been kicked into touch we sincerely hope that everyone who cares for, uses and manages the Thames can start singing from the same song sheet and pursue a “can do” approach to the future of this great river. In particular, there needs to be major effort to build new income streams to replace reductions in public purse funding. Recent enforcement activity by the EA has confirmed that licence evasion is far greater than previously assumed – losses due to evasion in 2017 could well exceed the additional income which will derive from the 5.7% increase in registration charges being applied for 2018. The TMBA and other boating organisations are pressing for urgent action to ensure that all revenue income entitlement is collected from those that are required to contribute.
Since its inception in 2011 the TMBA has expressed serious concern for the funding of the non tidal Thames – indeed, it was mainly this concern that led to the formation of the TMBA. The situation described in this paper from 2015 very much reflects the current position.
If you boat on the non tidal Thames and are not already a member please join us in representing the interests of powered craft boaters and other river users.
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