A group of leading figures within theEast Midlandshas been appointed to help shape the future of the region’s waterways.  As part of a Local Waterway Partnership, the group will work alongside British Waterways for the benefit of the thousands of people and numerous businesses who use and enjoy the region’s canal network.


The Partnership will play a key role in shaping how theEast Midlands’ waterways will operate when they leave government control and become part of the Canal & River Trust this summer – a move that will give a greater role to local people in looking after their local canals and rivers. 


The Partnership held its inaugural meeting on 29 May, where the new team began the process of working through management plans, looking at how to engage communities, business and new volunteers and identifying potential sources of additional funds to help look after the waterways.  


Danny Brennan, who has worked at executive director level in English public service for the past decade, has recently been appointed chair of the partnership. Danny said; “We’re very lucky in theEast Midlandsas we have many miles of magnificent canals and rivers offering everything from tranquil beauty spots to marvellous days out for kids. However, not enough people in the cities, towns or villages of theEast Midlandsknow how to find and enjoy their local waterways or how they can contribute to conserving and improving them.


“The job of the Waterway Partnership is to address that, to make sure these priceless and timeless assets can benefit from a greater sense of community ownership and be enjoyed for generation after generation. The great mix of skills, energy and experience that the partnership possesses puts us in a fantastic position to achieve that.


“We start immediately and we want to reach out, to communicate and to engage people, businesses, organisations and supporters in the great adventure and opportunity the Canal and River Trust represents for the nation’s waterways and for the communities living around them”.


Sean McGinley, waterway manager for theEast Midlands, commented:  “The applications to join the East Midlands Partnership show how much enthusiasm there is for the waterways, and the substantial body of support that the new waterways charity will be able to tap into.  The Partnership is made up of strong individuals and this is a great opportunity to forge a new working model where local people with a real interest in their waterways can play an important role in protecting them for future generations.”

 East Midlands Waterway Partnership Members


Danny Brennan

Danny has worked at executive director level on regeneration, planning, transport, environment and community development in English public service for the past decade, in the East Midlands, South Yorkshire andNorfolk.  He spent the previous 10 years in various policy and structural fund programme roles in the European Commission based inBrussels. Danny has recently completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Law atNottinghamLawSchool. He is a keen photographer, has a young family and is also involved in local community activity in his homevillageofRadcliffeonTrentin Nottinghamshire.


Gemma Denton

Gemma has worked for the last 6 years within Regeneration at Mansfield District Council giving her experience and knowledge of delivering physical, economic and social/community regeneration projects.  It has ranged from working towards Neighbourhood Renewal Priorities to European Regional Development Fund Priorities. Gemma lives next to theChesterfieldCanaland regularly enjoys walking on the towpath.


Matthew Easter

Matthew is Regional Director for theEast Midlandswith Sustrans and oversees a range of projects throughout the region.  Matthew is the regional spokesperson regarding sustainable transport issues. He has a background in sustainable development, climate change and environmental regeneration based work. Matthew is married with two children and lives in Radcliffe onTrentin Nottinghamshire.


Anne Halliday

Anne is currently a Change Programme Manager at the Nottinghamshire Criminal Justice Board and an independent consultant specializing in Criminal Justice, Community Safety and HR. She is highly experienced in managing change, improving governance and performance, particularly in partnerships. Anne lives in Derbyshire with her artist husband and daughters.  She loves the waterways and sees them as a means of enriching our communities in general and the lives of disadvantaged young people in particular. 


Valerie Holt MBE

Valerie is a Trustee and current chair of the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust as well as a director of EastMidlandsEnvironmental Consultants. Valerie has been involved with theInstituteofFisheries Managementsince 1985 as Treasurer and now Vice President, as well as an Honorary Fellow. In 2010 Valerie was awarded an MBE for services to fisheries management and conservation. Valerie, fromWest Bridgefordis a narrowboat owner and brings extensive knowledge of the River Trent and associated waterways.


David Pullen

David is a consultant on rural and agricultural engineering projects including waterways, and presently a retained consultant with Lincolnshire Waterways Partnership and Honorary Engineer for Sleaford Navigation Trust (SNT). David is also an active volunteer with IWA Festivals, (Waterspace Director) and SNT, and also with CRT inLondonfor the 2012 Olympic Games. David is a Chartered Engineer and has a narrowboat moored at Sileby Mill on the River Soar.       


Robin Stonebridge

Robin is the chair of the Chesterfield Canal Trust and has wide experience of working on Boards at local, regional and national level. He served as an elected member of a metropolitan district and as a Non-Executive Director of a successful PCT and was a founding member of the board for the Centre for Public Scrutiny. Robin holds a Masters degree in organisation development. His doctoral research explored social constructions of virtual working environments. He lives in Anston,South Yorkshire.


Amanda Turner

Amanda works for the Heritage Lottery Fund and leads on natural heritage and training for the organisation in theEast Midlands. She also has a background in community work and volunteering with a number of organisations such as the Council for Voluntary Service and Age Concern (now Age UK). Amanda lives in Bingham and regularly walks along the River Trent and theGranthamCanal.


Glyn Williams

Glyn recently retired from his employment with the governing body for angling, the Angling Development Board (ADB) and the former National Federation of Angler’s. Glyn spent seven years as the ADB National Coaching Course Coordinator responsible for setting up coaching courses nationwide and helping to increase community participation within the sport of angling.  Glyn is also a registered tutor with Sports Coach UKdelivering their Safeguarding and Protecting Children workshops as well as being the Senior External Verifier for 1st4sport Qualifications for the sport of angling.

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