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A new Chairman for Cotswold Canals Trust

A New Chairman

Report by CCT Company Secretary Jack Telling

At a Meeting on 7th November the Council of Management of the Cotswold Canals Trust elected Mike Guest as its new Chairman.

Mike was co-opted on to Council three months ago with a responsibility for developing the Eastern section of the Thames & Severn Canal.

His co-option was confirmed at the recent Annual General Meeting. Mike very quickly impressed Council with his enthusiasm, energy, a very obvious interest in the restoration of the Cotswold canals and excellent interpersonal skills.

Banking background

Mike spent the last 30+ years within the banking industry working for a large international banking group, initially specialising in commercial and corporate lending and subsequently running Retail Banking areas and latterly business planning units for the UK and for the worldwide group.

On taking the Chair Mike thanked Liz Payne who has been Acting Chairman since the sad death of Tony Robinson earlier this year. He said that it was a huge honour to be elected as Chairman and paid tribute to Liz, and her predecessors, for their leadership in restoring the Cotswold Canals over the past 40 years.

Environment and Heritage interest

Mike also commented…“I have a keen interest in the environment and heritage. There is of course much work to be done, possibly over many years, and I am determined to progress our goal of joining-up again the Rivers Severn & Thames and look forward to working with our fantastic team of Trust volunteers.

“The renovation of the Stroudwater and Thames & Severn Canals from Saul through to Inglesham is creating a 36 mile environmental corridor rich in biodiversity, a towpath trail that enables people to enjoy the countryside and healthy exercise and pursuits.

"The restoration of the navigation brings to life a heritage transport network that was at the forefront of the industrial revolution. Our cause is a worthy one and for the above reasons should be attractive to a variety of funders.

“I am also looking forward to meeting and working with our Partners and will continue to lead the development of the strategy for the Phase 2 restoration of the Eastern section of the Thames & Severn Canal.”

Support from two 'vice chairs'

Council also, for the first time, elected two Vice-Chairmen, Liz Payne and Jim White in recognition of the fact that the years ahead are likely to be full of opportunities and challenges which will generate an even greater workload.

Liz Payne

Liz, in addition to her recent spell as Acting Chairman, was Trust Chairman for 4 years before Tony Robinson and has wide experience within the waterways movement particularly within the Inland Waterways Association .

Jim White

Jim is a Chartered Engineer who over the past 2 years has distinguished himself by designing Phase 1a lock paddle gear which has been approved by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Treasurer & Company Secretary

Trudy Ayre has been re-elected Treasurer and Jack Telling Company Secretary.

Click here for the biographical and contact details for all members of Trust Council.