BW bosses move to reassure staff over closure threat

Following the publication of a leaked report today, which suggests British Waterways (BW) will be abolished, bosses attempt to allay staff fears

This morning the BBC published details of a leaked Government report, which highlights 180 quangos set to be abolished, including British Waterways (BW).

A further 124 quangos are earmarked for mergers and the Department for Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), which oversees British Waterways, is one of the departments to be hit the hardest, with 53 of its bodies affected.

News quickly spread like wildfire, leading BW’s chief executive, Robin Evans, to email all BW staff saying that he did not believe the navigational authority was about to be axed, but that instead it was one step closer to gaining charitable status.

Evans said, “Creating a new charity, means that the legal organisation British Waterways will have to be replaced, hence the misguided speculation from leaked documents about us facing the axe.”

The reference to BW on the leaked document says: “Abolish as an NDPB

(non-departmental public body) and mutualise (civil society model)”, which does suggest it may survive

as a third-sector model, as outlined by BW, although a question mark still hangs over whether it could be merged with the Environment Agency.