River Thames gets dedicated Parliamentary Group

Date: February 11, 2016 By: Gemma Heath in River Thames News
River Thames gets dedicated Parliamentary Group

The future development of the River Thames will be the focus of a new All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) set up with the backing of Prime Minister, David Cameron. It will help businesses based on or around the Thames, including London boat hire companies, to make the most of opportunities and tackle specific challenges.

The APPG for the River Thames has Henley MP, John Howell, as chair and consists of 20 MPs from across the parties and one member of the House of Lords. Support for establishment of the group comes from key figures in the Government, including the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary, Theresa May, MP for Maidenhead.

Key challenges

The group will focus on this section of the waterways, which is integral to the south-east economy. The APPG will concentrate on issues covering the full stretch of the River Thames, from its source to the sea, not just London-based matters.

It will consider the challenges facing the Thames area in the coming years, including the increasing issue of flooding and the opportunities available to businesses, such as companies specialising in London wedding boats.

Specialist guidance

The group has also received backing from the River Thames Alliance (RTA), a group of over 100 businesses, organisations and individuals who want to promote policies that benefit the Thames.

The RTA will provide specialist advice to the Parliamentary group across a range of topics. These include navigation, planning policy, moorings, sport and recreation, marketing, tourism, flood risk management, the environment, hydrology and education.

The Parliamentary group’s first meeting will discuss the RTA’s Waterways Plan, which its members approved at the end of last year.