Howard Anguish reports on the recent North East Local Waterways forum
I attended this on the 14th April. The venue was our usual one - the Wheatsheaf Conference Centre near Castleford - and was very well attended with a full house.
As far as the meeting was concerned, a forum is usually defined as a meeting where views are exchanged but for the first time in the NE there was no invitation given for input from the floor. Rather it was a set piece delivery of news and information by the local manager and others (including John Dodwell) and understandably, given the recent history of flood devastation in the region - especially the Calder & Hebble and also the Leeds area - the largest portion of the meeting was taken up by a very useful and interesting illustrated presentation by Mike Marshall, the local engineering manager, who took the meeting through the chronology of events and the efforts subsequently made by CRT staff and especially volunteers, to start the massive project to rebuild bridges, towpaths etc. Throughout the meeting praise was quite rightly given to the magnificent input provided by local volunteers and although it will still be some months before things are back to near normal, the situation would have been much worse without their efforts.