ENews 2011-12

17 September  2011

Hello, and a warm welcome to ENews 2011-12.

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WATER BOARD

This year's AGM will be held in the SDC Council Chambers at Ebley Mill, Stroud at 10:30 on Saturday 22nd October.

If you or someone you know would like to be considered for membership of the Council of Management of the Cotswold Canals Trust then notice of your/their intentions must be lodged in writing 14 clear days before the AGM itself, accompanied by the written agreement of the person proposed. All applications should be sent to Honorary Secretary, Cotswold Canals Trust, Bell House, Wallbridge, Stroud Glos GL5 3JS.

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HIGH WATER

At the IWA Gloucestershire and Herefordshire Branch meeting on Thursday October 6th Rich Kelsey will be presenting a talk entitled "Stroudwater Canal from the air".

The meeting will be held at Gloucester Yacht Club, The Docks, Gloucester and starts at 19:30. All are welcome.

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WATER NOPPORTUNITY

Fancy a challenge?

Then have a look at http://www.stroud.gov.uk/docs/vacancies.asp?vid=825

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WATER WORKS

Dudbridge Locks Hydro Project Manager Keith Tibbits tells me that our bid for £100,000 of funding from Energyshare towards the cost of the Dudbridge Hydro Project will be decided by a public vote, assuming we are shortlisted following submission of our on-line application at the end of this month. The number of supporters who are registered on www.energyshare.com-Dudbridge-Locks-Hydro is one of the selection criteria for the shortlist of 10 Groups. Although we have been chosen as a Featured Group this does not mean we are guaranteed selection – so we still need more support. With a membership well in excess of 6,000 and 'only' 589 registered supporters for the project there must, surely, be room for improvement here! Please go to http://www.energyshare.com/dudbridge-locks-hydro/followers/p:1/ to register YOUR support if you have not already done so.

The Planning Application is awaiting final drawings showing the re-routed pipeline to avoid tree roots. The Flood Risk Assessment computer model has been rerun with the turbine operating and this did not show any significant effect compared with the turbine stopped. Our EA licence has passed the admin stage and is being technically assessed at a meeting on Monday September 19th. There are separate ongoing EA discussions about a required fish-pass.

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WATER LOT GOING ON

There is indeed a lot happening at the moment, both behind the scenes and at various points along the canals themselves. There follows a summary of some of these on a "going east from the M5" basis where structural work is concerned. At least that is my intention……

– Water transfer: Good meeting held with Thames Water. Appropriate assessment (Severn Estuary) now being undertaken with little expectation of problems. Boris Johnson extolled the virtues of canal water transfer in Daily Telegraph, CCT now feeding information into London Mayor's office. Should have a better feel as to how it is all going within a year. New Thames Water strategy expected in 2014.
– Cotswold Canals Knowledge has reached over 400 children from 10 schools in its first year. All 10 planning follow up. Secondary schools becoming involved. Recent publicity in local newspapers has helped.
– Paddle Gear project is on time and on programme. Prototypes have been cast and machined during August. Greenheart timber for the jack heads has been delivered. Memorial benches can be made from the offcuts and CCT has firm commitments for 2 already. Further information from Jim White, email
dimlite@hotmail.co.uk
– Log sales going really well, thanks mainly to repeat orders. It is hoped to set up a distribution base in the east shortly, the website at
www.cotswoldcanals.com/pages/logs-for-sale.php will be kept updated with developments on this as and when.

– Phase 1B (Stonehouse to Saul Junction) progress:  The A38 Eastington missing mile with 2 new locks and marina basin could be a volunteer project (except for the channel under the M5). If funding found, could be quite a quick project, open by 2016. 1st stage of HLF application Nov 2011, matched funding sources need to be identified.
– Blunder Lock gate replacements: possible reuse of current Wallbridge Upper Lock top gates being considered, bottom gates still looking for a solution.
– Stonehouse boat trips: start delayed by lack of water. At present the canal depends on river water fed in from Ryeford sluices. With the dry summer, the river level is low. Resolved once work at Frome Gardens confluence completed (see below).
– Ryeford Swing Bridge: The work to repair the brickwork and to install a means of locking has been completed, but the bridge deck still needs more ballast.
– Between Ebley and Wallbridge: £1.4m contract due to start for structures works involving reconstruction of confluence at Frome Gardens where River Frome separates from the canal and building a new overflow weir just upstream of Ebley Mill. Also involves refurbishment of Dudbridge Upper and Lower Locks.
– Marling Footbridge: removal has been undertaken by CCT volunteers.
– Wallbridge Upper Lock: tenders received for repair work, contract to be awarded shortly.
– Capel’s Mill: the route for the canal will be marked out in September, with a view to a walk through to assess the amount of timber clearance required. Actual work is still waiting for Planning Permission.
– Griffin Mill Lock: Gardiners have been awarded the contract to construct bunds above and below the lock (using material from Oil Mills bund), divert excess water over the spill weir, and clear out the lock chamber. Volunteers are being sought to help with this project on a regular basis. Contact Steve Hake for more information,
steve_hake@yahoo.co.uk
– The Spine Rd to Cerney Wick Pound is now dredged, but water supply issues remain. Thames Water plans under way to lower mains pipe under canal.
– Eisey Lock is finished. All brickwork has been completed and the coping stones re-set. The scaffolding has been removed and all
debris in the lock chamber taken out. The lock sides have been levelled, bricks and stones removed, and prepared for grass seeding in September. 
– Latton/Weymoor Bridge: Draft planning application for the bridge reconstruction to be submitted. The work could be done by CCT volunteers (as on the Cerney Wick Spill Weir). Once this has become an established work site, CCT can bid for Canal Camps from WRG. There may also be scope for getting W&BCT volunteers from Latton Basin involved in this project.
– Inglesham progress: £125,000 IWA Tom Rolt Appeal currently stands at over £52,000. For further information visit 
www.waterways.org.uk/campaigns/appeals   
Scrub clearance has been carried out and a perimeter fence erected. Work took place throughout August by WRGies on 3 Canal Camps.

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FORTHCOMING ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS

For further information and contact details about items marked* please go to the Message Boards on the Activities and Rosters page at http://www.cct.teamconnect.org.uk  
To become a registered volunteer please follow the Register Me Now link.
 
Mondays & Wednesdays from 09:00: Maintenance activity at Western Depot*.
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 09:00: Maintenance activity at Eastern Depot*.
Thursdays from 10:00 – 15:30: Volunteer taster sessions (towpath clearance) aimed at people new to volunteering; meet Bell House Wallbridge. CCT members also welcome.

SEPTEMBER
18th – Work party Brimscombe-Daneway section at Beale's Lock*
21st – Eastern Branch meeting Trout Inn Lechlade 19:30
27th – Construction Action Group meeting Bell House Wallbridge 19:30*

OCTOBER
2nd – Work party Brimscombe-Daneway section, venue TBA*
10th – Western Branch meeting, Fromebridge Mill Whitminster 19:30
19th – Eastern Branch meeting Trout Inn Lechlade 19:30
22nd – CCT AGM at SDC Offices Ebley Mill Stroud from 10:30
23rd – Work party Brimscombe-Daneway section, venue TBA*
25th – Construction Action Group meeting Crown Inn Cerney Wick 19:30*

NOVEMBER
7th – Western Branch meeting, Fromebridge Mill Whitminster 19:30
13th – Work party Brimscombe-Daneway section, venue TBA*
16th – Eastern Branch meeting Trout Inn Lechlade 19:30
22nd – Construction Action Group meeting Bell House Wallbridge 19:30*

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Newsworthy items for consideration should be sent to listmaster@cctmembers-newsletter.co.uk but please remember I am always looking for a connection with the Stroudwater, the Thames & Severn or the CCT.

Both the Trust website www.cotswoldcanals.com and the Partnership website www.cotswoldcanalsproject.org are good sources of information on restoration progress with up to date news articles and pictures of progress. You can receive a Twitter feed from the Cotswold Canals Partnership from http://www.twitter.com/cotswoldcanals direct to your mobile or PC.

If you think you have missed an issue of ENews a copy of the latest one is always displayed at www.cotswoldcanals.com/pages/enews-newsletter.php and there is a full archive back to April 2006 when the first issue was published.

Any and all feedback is more than welcome.

David Pagett
Editor, ENews