The Staffordshire Waterways Group was established in 2011 after the Inland Waterways Association (IWA) National Waterways Festival was held in Burton-on-Trent. Most of the waterway societies in the county came together to mount an exhibition in a marquee, together with the County Council Tourism Service. The exhibition also featured the charity walk carried out by the then High Sheriff, Ian Dudson CBE, who walked the 154 miles of canal towpath within the County to raise money for the Staffordshire Community Fund. During the Festival, we discussed many things with a Staffordshire focus and we realised that, as the county with the greatest length of canal towpath, it would be useful to meet as a group with the County Council. At the time, the Canal & River Trust was about to take over from British Waterways and one of the objectives was to co-operate with the new body as it began its stewardship of the waterways under different conditions from its predecessor. The group is made up as follows:
Staffordshire County Council is represented by the County Commissioner for the Rural County, and the County Councillor Cabinet Support Member for the Environment and Rural Issues.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council is represented by the City’s Infrastructure and Technical Programme Manager who facilitates the City’s Canal Partnership Group.
The Canal & River Trust is represented by personnel from the Central Shires, West Midlands and North Wales & Border Counties Partnership Boards plus a member of the National Council.
The Inland Waterways Association (IWA) is represented by the National Campaigns Officer, and members of the four local IWA branches - Birmingham Black Country & Worcestershire Branch, Lichfield Branch, North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch, and Shrewsbury District & North Wales Branch, plus the West Midlands Region.
There are representatives of all waterway societies in Staffordshire, namely:- Burslem Port Trust; Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust; Coventry Canal Society; Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust; Norbury to Newport Community Interest Company; Shrewsbury & Newport Canals Trust; Stafford Riverway Link; Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal Society and Trent & Mersey Canal Society.
The above organisations have worked together to produce this website and endorse the approach suggested here. If you wish to add your endorsement you can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Group is chaired by Roger Savage, Vice President of the Inland Waterways Association North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch and is represented on the Destination Management Partnership for county tourism by Julie Arnold.