Subject : Friends of Regents Canal - Public meeting on 23rd May

Dear Friends,

Our next public meeting will take place on Wednesday 23rd May (7pm to 9pm) at the London Canal Museum. I have attached a flyer that contains directions.

This could be our last meeting before the Canal and River Trust takes over from British Waterways, so this is an appropriate time to set a canal users' agenda for the future running and usage of the waterways. For this reason, the main item on the agenda will be our vision for the Regent's Canal, and we could look at a 5-year vision and a 30-year vision. A 5-year vision would cover an adjustment period, with a range of incremental changes, whereas a 30-year vision would address modal shifts in freight transport and major changes of mindset. We can also discuss some innovative uses of the canal that are at the proposal stage.

This is also our last meeting before the Olympics. For some organisations the Olympics will bring fast profits, while for others it will simply cause prolonged disruption, and I am unsure whether the Regent's Canal will receive any long term benefits or facilities as part of the Olympic Legacy. This could also be a turning point for walkers and cyclists on the towpaths because our towpath behaviour will be on the world stage for several weeks when visitors from afar learn about our code of conduct. If you have any questions or comments about the Olympics then please bring them along to the meeting.

We will probably also want to discuss the future of the Canal Information Centre at the Lock Keeper's Cottage in Camden. This is no longer a local issue, because this is the only surviving visitor centre on the Regent's Canal and our ability to recruit volunteers will be a crucial test of whether Big Society can deliver what the Canal and River Trust is depending upon.

I hope that this will be a productive meeting, and even if you are unable to attend I welcome any comments that you can send in before the meeting.

Best wishes,

Ian Shacklock
Chair, Friends of Regent's Canal

15th May 2012

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