Hello, & welcome to E-News No. 29.
There's a lot of this flu about isn't there? Plan A was for this edition to come out last Friday but as we all know the man strain is particularly virulent, so Plan B it is.
NO. 10 PETITIONS – NO, NOT THE ROAD CHARGING ONE
But the one about the DEFRA cuts to BW's funding that you may remember from E-News 21. The deadline is 21st February, so if you haven't yet signed please go to http://www.petitions.pm.gov.uk/SaveOurWaterways/
UPPER THAMES MATTERS
There is a website called the Thames Head Forum that you'll find at http://www.thameshead.com.
It is a forum for discussion, views, experiences and debate on a whole range of topics including the Thames Path, the source of the Thames, the Stroudwater and Thames & Severn Canals amongst others. I know the Webmaster would welcome views and opinions, particularly views on the restoration.
It has been "off air" for a while but is now back and well worth a visit.
CAPEL MILL CONFIGURATIONS
The Capel Mill consultation exercise is now complete, and the statistics make interesting reading.
600 leaflets were given out of which 346 were returned; of these, 40 showed just one preference with a further 14 either showing no preference or turning up after the cut-off date. There were 3 options to be considered, namely A-through the tip, B-via the river and C-remove the tip.
Preferences received were as follows:
A. 86 votes as first choice, 162 as second choice and 52 as third choice.
B. 158 votes as first choice, 41 as second choice and 118 as third choice.
C. 88 votes as first choice, 89 as second choice and 122 as third choice.
The option with the highest number of votes for the first preference is Option B. The results were then analysed to determine which option was preferred when allowance was made for 1st, 2nd and 3rd preferences.
After this exercise Option B remained the public's preferred option and will be taken forward by the Canals Partnership. Outline design will commence during February, with a Planning Application to be submitted during May 2007.
James Blockley, Community Links Involvement Co-Ordinator, Cotswold Canals Partnership is your contact for further information, firstname.lastname@example.org telephone 01452 318500 or 07920 790691.
Connect is the name for the Trust's new Volunteer Management System and Activity Database.
As I type we are arranging the dates for presentations to Activity Leaders and other interested parties. Once these are under way then letters will be going out to all Registered Volunteers, hopefully around the end of this month, to enable you to access the website and have a good look at what the system can provide. If you do not receive a letter by early March it means your activity preferences are not recorded.
I will tell you all about the really simple registration procedure in a subsequent edition of E-News, by when there will be a link established from the Trust's website to the Connect one.
If you want to see what was captured on camera at Ebley recently then have a look at http://www.cotswoldcanalsproject.org/general.asp?pid=2&pgid=687&menu=562.
For those of you who don't know this is the Cotswold Canals Partnership website and is well worth an exploratory visit if you have a few minutes.
OH NO IT HASN'T
After a couple of false dawns, restoration work at Oil Mills Bridge (aka Snow Mill) is due to start in March. Preparatory work has taken place with British Telecom on site moving some of their cabling and volunteer work parties have cleared a huge amount of overgrowth. The hold up has been occasioned by the plans for the diversion around Bridge Road having to be finalised and agreed with local residents and businesses. This had to be in place before work could start.
First to go will be the infill material between the bridge and Ryeford Double Lock. This will be followed soon after by clearance of the infill around the bridge and reconstruction of the bridge itself.
Again, the CCP website is the place for the most up-to-date news http://www.cotswoldcanalsproject.org
In E-News 20 back in November I put out an appeal for a reasonably sound caravan to replace one that had been vandalised. Remarkably one was tracked down and will be put to good use as, unfortunately, it was not quite big enough for the role intended.
So if you have a 15 to 16 footer languishing in your drive, garden or next door's garden and ideally you would really appreciate it going to a loving, caring new home all you have to do is contact Dudley Greenslade, 01453 825515 or by email email@example.com.
RING THOSE BELLS
After the first highly successful scrub bash at St Mary's Lock, Chalford on the 11th, there's another one scheduled for this coming Sunday (25th). Access is good fun, and the previously described directions appear below for anybody who would like to go along for the first time.
Usual rules: steel toecaps on your boots/shoes, please and other necessary safety equipment will be provided.
From Stroud direction your best bet is to turn round at Chalford and head back; about 300 metres past Belvedere Mews (at the western end of the loop road that'll take you to Hyde & Minchinhampton) bear left down a small lane to a level crossing. Ring the bell to arrange for the crossing keeper to let you and your vehicle through!
(Please do not try to leave your vehicle on the A419 side of the crossing as space is restricted and the main road is a bit fast and narrow around here.)