The Council

The Canal & River Trust has a governing Council of up to 35 members who reflect the wide appeal of the waterways.

Council at their 6th meeting in Cardiff
Council at their 6th meeting in Cardiff

In March 2012 the Canal & River Trust's Council met for the first time. The Council includes a mix of nominated, co-opted, and elected individuals, with the aim of moving towards 50 per cent elected. 

While Trustees are responsible for determining policy and strategy, the Council has an important role in helping to shape policy, raise and debate issues, provide guidance and  perspective, and act as a sounding board for Trustees.

The Council also has the responsibility of  appointing and, if necessary, dismissing  Trustees.

The Trust's Governance Handbook can be found here.

Council Members

Council members will serve for a period of four years.

  • To contact Waterway Partnership chairs or elected members, please click on the name (an email address will open up)
  • To contact nominated representatives or for general Council enquiries, please email and your enquiry will be passed on.

Elected Representatives:

Boating Business

Nigel Stevens

Nigel Stevens, Elected Council Member, Boating Business Nigel Stevens and his wife operate a hire fleet and full service boatyard with moorings in Yorkshire. Their customers are intensive users of the Pennine waterways. He was a Waterway Recovery Group organiser, and Chairman of London IWA in the early seventies and later worked for the restoration of the Rochdale Canal by running a hire boat on the first six miles to be re-opened. Nigel is a past chairman of the British Waterways Advisory Forum and of the Association of Pleasure Craft Operators. Nigel is a member of the Manchester & Pennine Partnership and an Observer on the Trust's Navigation Advisory Group, Operations.

Anthony Matts

Tony Matts, Elected Council Member, Boating BusinessSince the early 1960s, Tony has been involved with the canals, long before most people were aware of their existence. His business has continued for almost 50 years. In addition to trading in boat engineering and salvage, hiring, hospitality and retail, Tony has been involved with the Boat Safety Scheme since 1980 and subsequently became an assessor of the Boat Safety Inspectors. He is also a member of the Committee of Marine Engineers (small ships group) and seconded to the British Standards Sub-committee for small craft.


Private Boating

Ann Farrell

Ann Farrell, Elected Member of Council, Private BoatingAnn studied physics at Bristol University, worked as a research scientist in the nuclear power industry, and then trained as a teacher.  Having moved to Chester, she taught in a large comprehensive school there for over 20 years.  Ann was a Chester City councillor for 24 years and held the portfolio for culture and heritage in the City’s administration from 2001-2007.  Following several holidays on hireboats, Ann bought her own narrow boat, ‘Ena May’, in 1992. Since then she has cruised over 15,000 miles and explored 95% of the network.  Ann has four children and four grandchildren – all enthusiastic boaters.  Ann is an Observer on the Trust's Navigation Advisory Group, Licensing & Moorings.

Clive Henderson

Clive Henderson, Elected Member of Council, Private BoatingClive is a life member of the Inland Waterways Association, serving as trustee from 2002 to 2015 and the National Chairman from 2008 to 2012. He was a member of the British Waterways Advisory Forum from 2008 and its Chairman from 2010 to 2012 and observer to the Board of British Waterways 2010 to 2012. He has been a boat owner since 1984. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales, a retired partner of Ernst & Young, Chartered Accountants (1971-2000). He is vice chairman and governor of South & City College Birmingham (2001 to date), and a Parish Councillor in Warwickshire.   Clive is a member of the Trust's Joint Council & Trustees Appointments Committee and an Observer on the Trust's Navigation Advisory Group, Licensing & Moorings.

Ivor Caplan

Ivor Caplan, Elected Council Member, Private BoatingIvor Caplan’s  career as an architect included canal regeneration and conservation projects and following retirement he retained an involvement in waterways planning and heritage. Ivor has cruised for 35 years over most of the waterways system and 15 years living afloat has led to an involvement in residential boating through the RBOA.  He has been involved with many aspects of the IWA, as Branch Chairman, managing its Waterways for Youth initiative and serving as an IWA Trustee. He is Secretary of the BCN Society and serves on the West Midlands Waterways Partnership. His other interests include painting, walking and canoeing.

Vaughan Welch
Vaughan Welch, Elected Council Member, Private BoatingVaughan is a retired technical buyer and contracts manager specialising in electrical and civil engineering materials and services, writing the terms and conditions and managing their enforcement and related health and safety. He started boating in the 60s and owns a narrowboat presently moored on the BCN, and has cruised and walked most of the system, as well as many isolated and derelict waterways. He is a long standing trustee of the Inland Waterways Association with waterway restoration portfolio that he also represents at the All Party Parliamentary Waterways Group. He is trustee of both the Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Trust and the Stratford & Warwick Waterway Trust and is IWA’s representative on the Cotswold Canals Partnership.  Vaughan is an observer on the Trust's Navigation Advisory Group, Operations.


Chris Bailey
Chris Bailey, Elected Member of Council, Employee RepresentativeChris started his career with British Waterways in 1976 as an apprentice carpenter and once qualified moved onto a supervisor role on the BCN, followed by a section manager role in the East Midlands. After re-qualifying as a civil engineer and safety advisor, Chris was seconded and then employed as an HR Manager working on national employment provisions.  Chris was the manager of the Black Country Canals for five years and was seconded as an operational manager on a major canal restoration in Scotland. As Enterprise Manager, Midlands, working on behalf of the Central Shires Waterways, his current role is to secure funding through partnerships.  Chris is a trustee of the BW Pension Fund, and a board member of two local partnerships. Outside of work, he is the vice chair of Governors at his local primary school.

Nominated Representatives:

David Kent, nominated by the Angling Trust

David Kent, Council Member, The Angling TrustDavid Kent champions the value of angling as a sport and recreation, its value across the social spectrum, and participation for young people, the contribution it can make to the stewardship and promoting of waterways for all, and in generating income for the local economy and CRT.  An angler for 55 years, 40 have been spent as an administrator at club, regional and national level.  David spent 32 years in the water industry with the Trent River Authority, Severn Trent Water Authority and Severn Trent Water Ltd as a Manager, Financial/Business Systems.  In 1998, David took early retirement from STW and became Manager of the East Midlands Business & Environment Club until full retirement in 2006.  Angling Trust Director and Life member.  Chair of the Trust's National Angling Advisory Group.  Board member Erewash Sports Community Network.

Paul Owen, nominated by British Canoeing (formerly British Canoe Union)

Paul Owen, Council Member, British CanoeingChief Executive, British Canoeing.  Paul started recreational canoeing aged 6 but chose to pursue a competitive career in sailing and athletics, eventually achieving the four-minute mile.  Paul has served on numerous voluntary committees.  He is a qualified accountant and banker with Industrial and Sports accounting experience.  He also advises and leads on a number of projects on the international federations' behalf and is the Chair of the Sport and Recreation Alliance's Water Recreation Division.  Away from canoeing, amongst other consultancies, he has acted for Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games, Bath University English Institute of Sport, Euro96, Oxford/Cambridge Boat Race and as a freelance reporter to The Times.

Charles Trotman, nominated by Country Land & Business Association
Charles Trotman, Council Member, Country Land & Business AssociationBefore joining the CLA, Charles was a consultant in Brussels, worked at London Guildhall University, and was a political adviser at the National Farmers Union.  Charles has overall responsibility for all economic issues at the CLA.  His other responsibilities include canals and rivers (economics), telecommunications, rural tourism, equine policy and rural development.  He is also the Secretary of CLA Council and its Policy Committee.



Councillor Jim Harker, nominated by the Local Government Association
More information coming soon.


John Yates, nominated by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation
John Yates, Council Member, Institute of Historic Building ConservationJohn has 36 years experience of guiding change to historic places, 25 of them as an English Heritage Inspector of Historic Buildings (now part-time, working on Shropshire and Herefordshire).   A former Chair of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation, he is a specialist in industrial heritage, with a detailed knowledge of the English waterways network and its contexts.   John has owned, restored and run historic narrow boats since 1977, and is a past Chair of the Boat Museum Trust.  He sits on the Trust's Heritage Advisory Group and is also a member of the North Wales & Borders Partnership.


 Peter Brown, nominated by the Railway & Canal Historical Society
Peter Brown, Council Member, Railway & Canal Historical SocietyPeter was Treasurer of Great Yarmouth Borough Council before taking early retirement in 2000.  Since then he has concentrated on researching and writing canal history, particularly their local economic and social impact.  He is a member of the Managing Committee of the RCHS, a Board member of the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct & Canal World Heritage Site, Planning Officer for his local IWA Branch, and subject adviser to the U3A.  With his wife he owns narrowboat Mandarin, has travelled the canal network extensively and now lives by the canal in Market Drayton.  Peter is a member of the Trust's Heritage Advisory Group.

 David Gibson, nominated by the Ramblers Association
David Gibson, Council Member, Ramblers AssociationDavid has been involved with canals as a boater and campaigner since the 60s and was a founder member of WRG.  He has held
branch and Council positions with IWA.  He now holds Area and Group positions in Ramblers and is actively involved with the restoration of the Northern Reaches of the Lancaster Canal.  He strongly believes in the use of volunteers by Canal & River Trust and wants to see towpaths well maintained, usable by all, but with a surface and furniture that is in keeping with the local surroundings.  David is an Observer on the Trust's Navigation Advisory Group, Operations.

Professor Rafid Al Khaddar, nominated by the Society for the Environment
Rafid Al Khaddar, Council Member, Society for the EnvironmentRafid has strong links with the UK Water and Environmental industry and Professional bodies especially CIWEM where he is a Fellow, a Trustee and the President Elect of the Institution. He is a chartered engineer and environmentalist, published over 120 publications in journals and international conferences, on the editorial board and a reviewer for International Journals and Professional Institutions such as CIWEM and the ASCE, a Visiting Professor to Universities in Turkey, Egypt and Iraq, has experience in curriculum and course developments through his involvement in a number of accreditation events, both nationally and internationally and has secured over £1.5 million in funding since the year 2000.  Rafid is also a member of the Trust's Environmental Advisory Group.

Alison Ward, nominated by the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE)
Alison Ward, Council Member, Society of Local Authority Chief ExecutivesAlison Ward is Chief Executive of Torfaen County Borough Council, the Welsh Unitary Authority for the Eastern Valley of South Wales.  Alison grew up in Herefordshire and went to Exeter University to read Law. After qualifying as a solicitor, she did her solicitor’s articles in Ross-on-Wye before spending two years practising criminal law in Sheffield. She then joined West Glamorgan County Council in 1987 as a solicitor. She joined Torfaen CBC in 2002 as Assistant Chief Executive (Customer Focus & Relationships) and was appointed as Chief Executive in November 2004.   In the 2011 New Year Honours Alison was awarded the CBE for services to local government.  Alison is a member of the Trust's Joint Council & Trustees Appointments Committee.

Martyn Brunt, nominated by Sustrans
Martyn Brunt, Council Member, SustransMartyn has had a career in regional and national journalism and communications at Barclays Bank, Barclaycard, and National Express, and has longstanding connections with the Canal & River Trust and as manager of the National Cycle Network.  At Sustrans he has led projects in sustainable transport, access to stations, cycle network development and use of mobile technology in promoting cycle networks. 



 Paul Wilkinson, nominated by The Wildlife Trusts

Paul Wilkinson, The Wildlife TrustPaul has worked in local, regional and national conservation policy co-ordination and advocacy for the last 15 years, within the charitable and local government sectors, including 10 years with The Wildlife Trusts.  He has been a member of the East of England Regional Assembly, representing environmental stakeholders, and as chair of the regional biodiversity forum led the development of the region's first biodiversity strategy.  Since 2009, as Head of Living Landscape, Paul has led and supported the achievement of A Living Landscape through high level advocacy including the Common Agricultural Policy and the Natural Environment White Paper.

Mike Palmer, nominated by the Waterway Recovery Group
Mike Palmer, Council Member, Waterway Recovery GroupMike was employed by the BBC as Technical Co-ordinator for the London 2012 Olympics (Nations & Regions). He is chairman of the Waterway Recovery Group and has been a member of the Inland Waterways Advisory Council from 1998-2007. He is retained as advisor on volunteer matters. Mike is also a volunteer leader for numerous Canal Camps and other waterway events.  Mike is also a member of the Trust's Volunteering Advisory Group.



Peter Hugman, Co-opted Member, Freight
Peter Hugman Co optee CouncilAfter working for both passenger and freight companies in the Doncaster area, Peter established South Yorkshire Canal Transport in 1980 which grew to transport over 100,000 tonnes annually. Initially transporting aggregate from the River Trent, further traffics included all the inland cargo from the new wharf at New Holland. He then spent 15 years as captain of both freight and passenger ships on continental waterways, culminating in operating between Amsterdam and Budapest. Since establishing BargeConsult in 2002 to provide specialist waterborne logistical solutions, etc, he has continued to captain vessels. He is a board member of the Barge Owners Association.

Chloe Donovan, Co-optee, Youth

Chloe Donovan, Council Member, National Council for Voluntary Youth ServicesChloe is a strong advocate for empowering young people through engaging them with their communities and helping others, she delivers social leadership and youth participation training. At the age of 12, Chloe joined the UK Youth Parliament and proceeded to work with various youth organisations. At 17 she began her first paid role working for the National Council for Voluntary Youth Services as a Young Facilitator for the East of England and has since become a Trustee for the Step Up To Serve Campaign which aims to increase by 50% the number of young people taking part in social action by 2020.  Chloe is also a member of the Trust's Youth Engagement Advisory Group.


Dr Mark Lang, All Wales 
Mark Lang, Chair All Wales PartnershipMark is committed to ensuring that the waterways realise their true potential in terms of delivering economic, social, environmental and cultural outcomes.  He is a consultant specialising in place, local economics and the anti-poverty agenda. Formally he was Associate Director at the Centre for Local Economic Strategies, Senior Researcher at the Centre for Regeneration Excellence, and Political Advisor to an Assembly Member.  He has a PhD in Political Science from Cardiff University, where he is an Honorary University Associate.  Mark is Chair of the Welsh First Minister’s Advisory Panel on PPIW, and a member of the Aneurin Bevan Community Health Council.

Charlotte Atkins, Central Shires
Charlotte Atkins, Chair Central Shires Waterway PartnershipCharlotte served as the Member of Parliament for Staffordshire Moorlands from 1997-2010 and is a former Transport Minister. She was given the first ever Parliamentarian of the Year Award by the Inland Waterways Association in 2008 in recognition of her campaigning to promote the funding and regeneration of waterways. Charlotte is a volunteer with and Trustee of Rudyard Sailability, a charity providing water-based activities for disabled people at Rudyard Lake that in 2011 won the Queen's Award. Charlotte is a Staffordshire County Councillor.


Danny Brennan, East Midlands
Danny Brennan, Chair East Midlands Waterway PartnershipDanny hails from the Gorbals in Glasgow. He runs a limited company providing interim management services, following a decade operating at executive director level in public service, with assignments spanning the East Midlands, Yorkshire, Norfolk and Cheshire. He spent the previous 10 years in policy and structural fund roles in the European Commission (economic and social policy, regional development, labour market).  Before that, he worked in regional government in the West of Scotland, specialising in economic and community development and managing industrial re-structuring programmes in the steel and shipbuilding sectors. Danny completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Law at Nottingham Law School in 2011. He is a keen photographer, has a young family and is involved in community activity in his home village in Nottinghamshire.  Danny is also a member of the Trust's Youth Engagement Advisory Group.

Tamsin Phipps, Kennet & Avon
Tamsin Phipps, Chair Kennet & Avon Waterway PartnershipTamsin has had a varied career from special needs teacher, army officer, management development training manager to Public and
Government Affairs Manager for British Canoeing. Tamsin has always been passionate about the waterways and their use and place in people’s lives. She has canoed since the age of 14 learning with
the Girl Guides but is keen that the inland waterways should be promoted and used by the general public for walking, angling cycling and watching wildlife.  Tamsin’s voluntary work includes being an active leader for both Brownies and Guides together with being actively involved with the Community Narrow Boat Falcon Adam based on the Kennet & Avon Canal at Aldermaston. This work shows her commitment to the inclusion of young people in society and the recognition that they have a voice that should be heard.

Brian Fender, London
Brian FenderBrian is a former chief executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (1995-2001) and non-Executive Chairman of BTG plc (2003-2008). An Imperial College graduate, he taught chemistry at Oxford University for 17 years. He has been vice-chancellor of Keele University (1985-95) and director of the international research centre Institut Laue Langevin in Grenoble, France. Previously Brian held non-executive positions with the UK Meteorological Board and the Hong Kong University Grants Committee. He currently chairs a regional theatre Trust, an Arts Centre and a garden Trust.


Walter Menzies, Manchester & Pennine
Walter is an independent advisor on sustainable development and partnership development and management with the public, private and third sectors. He is a visiting professor in Civic Design at the University of Liverpool Department of Geography and Planning. He is a trustee of The Land Trust and a board member of Atlantic Gateway Partnership. He has a long association with Manchester and the Pennines as a local resident and his work in regeneration and sustainable development. Until 2010 he was CEO of The Mersey Basin Campaign. His most recent book is "England's Northwest and the battle for sustainable development".

Mark Penny, North East
Mark Penny, Chair North East Waterway PartnershipMark is a Yorkshire man born in Leeds, a chemist by training but a people and service leader by choice. Previously director of Customer Service and Networks for Yorkshire Water, Mark spent over 30 years with the water company. He now runs Summers Day management consultancy and is trustee of the Aire Rivers Trust. Last year he was also president of the Institute of Water (Northern Branch).  Married to Shelley they have five children and his hobbies include fishing, rugby, cooking and collecting brewery advertising memorabilia.  Mark is a member of the Trust's Joint Council & Trustees Appointments Committee.

Brenda Harvey, North Wales & Borders

Brenda HarveyBrenda has spent nearly thirty years working in local government. With a background as a town planner she has worked on regeneration and partnership projects throughout her career including as a local authority Chief Executive.   Brenda has also run her own company providing consultancy advice to the public sector. Brenda was a Trustee of The Waterways Trust and a member of the Museums & Attractions Partnership of Canal &River Trust. In a voluntary capacity she played a key part in the production of plans for the future of the National Waterways Museum and the Stoke Bruerne Canal Corridor.

Bob Pointing, North West
Bob PointingBob joined the Partnership as Chair in January 2015. He has previously worked as Chief Executive of the West Lakes Renaissance Urban Regeneration Company, as the Director of the North Liverpool Partnership and as Chief Executive of the Douglas Valley Partnership responsible for delivering Wigan City Challenge where he successfully brought in £150m of private sector investment and won the British Urban Regeneration Association’s Award for Partnership in Regeneration. He has also worked for the Government Office in the North West (Merseyside), the Civic Trust and in housing in Merseyside and Manchester. Bob is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Heseltine Institute, University of Liverpool.

John Best, South East
John Best, Chair South East Waterway PartnershipAfter starting work as a musician and then training as a town planner, he spent 24 years in London planning and regeneration, including five years as borough planning officer for LB Haringey. Moving to Milton Keynes in 1996, for 12 years he oversaw the city’s development, as environment director and then from 2002-8 as Council CEO. A Trustee since 2009 of the Bedford Milton Keynes Waterway Trust, he believes that of all the ways to inject life into places, nothing works better than their waterways.  He also chairs Arts Gateway MK, an umbrella Arts charity providing creative workspace in MK.


David Hagg, South Wales & Severn
David Hagg, Chair South Wales & SevernDavid is Chief Executive of Stroud District Council.  His authority is leading the award winning restoration of the Cotswold Canal in the Stroud Valleys.  Recent awards include the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE), the Living Waterways Awards and the Institution of Civil Engineers. He has been a member of a wide range of regional and national bodies; the most recent being as a Commissioner on the Low Commission.



 Peter Mathews CMG, West Midlands
Peter Mathews, Chair West Midlands Waterway PartnershipPeter is past chair of the Black Country Consortium, which works to co-ordinate regeneration in the Black Country area of the West Midlands, and is Chairman and managing director of Black Country Metals. A prominent business leader, Peter has held the position of chair at various national and international organisations including The World Recycling Conference, UKTI Advanced Engineering and the Midlands World Trade Forum. 



The work of the Council and Partnerships is supported by Roger Hanbury, Head of Governance Services, and Brenda Adams, Administrator, Governance Services

Roger Hanbury, Head of Governance Services                     Brenda Adams, Administrator Governance Services

   Roger Hanbury                          Brenda Adams