Waterways Minister visits ExCeL

Barry Gardiner came to ExCeL on a tricky PR mission


Waterways Minister Barry Gardiner came to ExCeL yesterday on a PR mission to placate waterways user groups left seething by recent cuts to the budgets of British Waterways and the Environment Agency. He failed, mostly. In a roundtable meeting, and later at a reception for the press, the Minister time and time again lapsed into politician non-speak that left all present groping mentally for even the slightest significance in his words. We do know, however, that DEFRA will not reinstate the funding it took away last year, and from now on, the 07/08 levels of funding will be used as baselines. That’s pretty much it from 15 pages of notes.