AGM 2015 – Search continues for New B&MK Waterway Trust Directors

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MK Mayor Cllr Derek Eastman opens 2015 AGM

Milton Keynes Mayor supports the Waterway Park

As one of the last functions that he attended as Mayor of Milton Keynes Councillor Derek Eastman congratulated the Trust for its continuing work in progressing the Waterway Park and spoke of the cross-party support for the project.  His appearance at the AGM was very appropriate being that it was held in Newport Pagnell which is the area he represents on MK Council.



At the Trust’s Ninth Annual General Meeting Joint Chair Graham Mabbutt stood down as a director in order to concentrate on his role within the Trust’s Enterprise Board which runs the John Bunyan Cruises.  Graham commented:  “The past year has been my fourth year in office, and this year I shared the role of Chair of the Trust with fellow director Jane Hamilton which was a great help and a positive move.”

“The Trust continues its steady move forward, but we do need to make a major move during the next year to prove that we still have the momentum in carrying the Waterway Park forward”

The Consortium.

The Consortium has re-arranged itself with some new officers from Central Bedfordshire Council, the return of Sarah Evans from Milton Keynes Council, and Paul Vann retaining his lead role of providing the secretariat from Bedford Borough Council. The Consortium has now established a Programme Delivery Board chaired by Jane Hamilton, and are looking to second a Programme Delivery Manager, and are also seeking match funding for this position.

Trust Priority

The Trusts current priority is to work with South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership and the A509 Road Improvement Team to try and achieve a joint project of implementing part of the waterway whilst the road is being improved by the inclusion of another carriageway from the Gallagher development roundabout to M1 Junction 13.

Projects Group

The project group under the chairmanship of director Marilyn Leask has begun work on a project that involves working with the IWA Waterway Recovery Group to involve volunteers in building a part of the waterway.

David Fowler is leading a separate group involving Bedford Borough Council and the Environment Agency with a view to extending the navigable part of the River Great Ouse from Kempston Mill towards Box End Park.

Wendover Arms Trust

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Ray Orth provided us with an enlightening talk on the recent progress on the re-opening of the Wendover Arm of the Grand Union Canal.

We discovered that there are many steps in lining the waterway, and with unexpected obstacles to overcome including capping a pipeline, getting the equipment to the location, and re-routing public footpaths.

Ray provided a wonderful selection of photos showing the before and after, progress and discussed how working with Ken and East Sussex Canal Restoration Group to restore the brickwork at the Whitehouse Pumping station. For more information on the restoration and to see the photos please visit their website at