You may well have seen reports of the many Save Our Waterways protests that happened over the weekend. We were unable to get out to our nearest one because of Jacob's birthday celebrations, but we were with them in spirit. In case you missed it, its all about the government cutting the grant to British Waterways because DEFRA has been fined £millions by the EC over mishandling of farmer's subsidies. Boaters are afraid that all the good work restoring and maintaining canals in recent years will be undone. We know this only too well, living as we do near the Basigstoke canal which was reopened after many years of volunteer activity (doing all the digging, lock repair etc.), and is now closed off and already slipping back into disrepair because of underfunding. If you want to see the benefit to ordinary folks of waterways development, just look at the transformation of Birmingham's Gas Street area. What was a slum is now a thriving night spot, and bringing in loads of tourist income.
If are sympathetic to the cause you can easily help by signing the electronic petition at the 10 Downing Street website http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/SaveOurWaterways/. You can find our more, at the camapign website www.savourwaterways.org.uk