Inland Waterways

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered at on 6 September 2010.

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Photo of Mark Spencer Mark Spencer Conservative, Sherwood

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will issue guidance to local authorities on responsibilities for the clearance and maintenance of waterways.

Photo of Richard Benyon Richard Benyon The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

No. Local authorities that are navigation authorities are responsible for the operation and maintenance of waterways in their care. Where waterways are the responsibility of other navigation authorities, as is usually the case, local authorities can, according to their own priorities, choose to work in partnership with the navigation authority on issues such as the clearance of litter and debris alongside waterways.

In addition the Environment Agency has the power, in connection with a main river, to maintain any watercourse in a due state of efficiency where it deems it necessary to remove debris for the purpose of alleviating flood risk .

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