More sell offs: British Waterways

The following has been sent to me and I urge your support:
Re; Sell-off of British Waterways assets:
Below are several news items that explain the government proposals for the sell-off and for those wishing to sign the petition the link is highlighted.
The basic political implications of this proposed sell-off is the fact that everything is now up for sale and that the need to privatise is the only policy that the mainstream parties have. This applies to everything in society, including education and health. SLP policy is completely opposed to such privatisation.

Help persuade government not to sell British Waterways’ assets

British Waterways cares for 2,200 miles of the country’s canals and rivers.
MONDAY, 16TH NOVEMBER 2009 05:04:26 GMT
Last Updated: Monday, 16 November 2009, 01:04 GMT

British Waterways will resist any Treasury proposals to sell off £500 million worth of properties it owns alongside the nation’s rivers and canals, chairman Tony Hales has indicated.
The property portfolio is understood to be under consideration for inclusion in a massive sell-off of Government assets announced by Gordon Brown last week, which is intended to raise £16 billion by 2014 to help bring down the national debt.
But Mr Hales warned that income from the property was needed to support the organisation’s work maintaining 2,200 miles of canals and rivers.
—– Original Message —–
From: david lowe
There is some concern that the government may consider selling off BW’s property portfolio and while this might provide a ‘pot of cash’ short term (if it went to BW and not to the Treasury) there would be less funding available from investments in the future to pay for waterway maintenance unless the government funded BW directly like roads and railways. If you wish to object please see below.
Best regards
David Lowe
Secretary, CBOA

URGENT- Inland Waterways Association News Flash
You may know about the media speculation that the Government intends to include the British Waterways’ property portfolio as a component of the £16bn asset sale.
The Government has made no announcements and is steadfastly refusing to be drawn on the subject.
We have been using this period of silence as a window of opportunity to lobby Ministers. We have orchestrated a political lobby in both the Commons and latterly the Lords to pressurise Government, and have briefed radio and national TV, using an array of reasons to support the argument that a sale would be in no-one’s interest.
We stand the best chance of preventing this sale if the Government can be persuaded not to do so, during this period of Ministerial silence. Whilst no announcements have been made, it is easier for Government to back away as it involves no public reversal of policy.
However, an e-petition has appeared on the 10 Downing Street website;
IWA supports the statements in the petition. The worst outcome now that this is in the public domain, would be if this petition receives scant support. That might give Ministers the impression that there are few waterways supporters who care very much about the issue. On the other hand, if it is well supported, the Government, this close to an election, is very sensitive to actions it might take which may lose votes, and would probably take notice.
I am therefore urging you to sign up to this petition – if you agree with it, and ask that you encourage everyone that you know, to also sign up.
We need more signatures than our membership, or even the total number of boaters in the UK – So please ask all of your colleagues, friends and family and e-mailable contacts to help us today! – and ask them to pass this message on as well – we need all of the UK to know about this and to respond on line.
The future of the waterways could depend on your actions today – Please act, and pass this message on.
Thank you
Clive Henderson
IWA national chairman
Jo Gilbertson
The Inland Waterways Association
Non-profit Distributing Company Limited by Guarantee No 612245
Registered Charity No 212342
Registered Office: Island House Moor Road CHESHAM HP5 1WA
Tel: 01494 783 453 Ext 611
P sustainable thinking…please don’t print this e-mail unless you really need to

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