London and South East Regional Advisory Board

The main purpose of our regional advisory board is to connect people and communities with the local canals and rivers here in the London and South East region.

London and South East region, Little Venice London and South East region, Little Venice

Upcoming meetings

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Our boards give local people:

  • a voice in developing and improving their waterways
  • a chance to connect with their waterside communities
  • an opportunity to help guide our decisions and strategies
  • the ability to support and champion the waterways in this region

Meet our regional advisory board members

Sir William Atkinson, Chair

Knighted in 2008 for services to education and community relations, Sir William is a Trustee of a number of charities including The Royal Shakespeare Company. He has advised government at both national and local levels and was appointed Deputy Lieutenant for Greater London in 2017.

Jenny Ballinger

Jenny is a former live-aboard boater having spent over 17 years afloat. She has retained her passion and enthusiasm for the history, architecture and environment of canals and rivers and currently lives in a canal-side village along the Oxford Canal with her husband, two sons and a dog, with whom she shares many canal-sidewalks and boat trips out on the canal and river system.  She has a professional background in heritage, with specific interests in buildings, landscapes and industrial archaeology. She works for local government in a design and conservation team, advising on schemes which effect heritage assets, and is in the process of undertaking an MSc in Spatial Planning.

Jim Crooks

Jim Crooks is a chartered civil engineer who has spent over 40 years in the construction industry as a consultant, a contractor and a developer. Jim has taken his love of managing complex construction into volunteering. Since retirement he has devoted more time to personal interests including history of the built environment and its effect on people; conservation of water related structures; and promoting understanding of the waterways. Jim and his wife have a narrow boat, an 18th century house in need of TLC, a garden full of wild life and an allotment.

Matthew Hunt

Matthew is a liveaboard continuous cruiser, spending most of his time navigating the South-East waterways with his young family. He previously lived aboard another narrowboat on a central London mooring, so has a real feel for life on the water, its pleasures and its challenges. In his spare time, Matthew is a government lawyer specialising in planning law. He has a particular interest in heritage assets, with which the waterways abound. Matthew also loves nature and cycling, so all-in-all an active role with Canal & River Trust seemed a natural fit.

Dermot O'Brien

Dermot's career began with an apprenticeship building racing engines, leading to a range of manufacturing and sales roles in aerospace companies. Further work includes running marinas, competitive sailing, and starting a marine charter business. He has spent the last 15 years promoting corporate social responsibility with a particular interest in the long-term unemployed. Dermot was a senior business advisor to the Government Office for London and joined a ministerial task force on youth crime. In 2007 he established The Adab Trust to create employment opportunities for black and minority ethnic students studying in modern universities. He developed a unique employer-led training programme delivering to over 11,000 students. Dermot is a visiting lecturer at London Metropolitan University.

Dick Pilkinton

Dick has been an angler since 1960 and has been involved in coaching and angling events for a number of years. Since the creation of the Trust, angling has really come to the forefront of their thinking. Dick is extending his term to help carry this forward with the new branding and philosophy of the Trust. As well as angling, he and his wife enjoy narrow boating holidays on many parts of our network, indulging in his other main interest - heritage. He often gives talks on the Tring reservoirs and their history and is Chairman of his Local History Society.

Dominic Pinto

After 20 years in the ICT/telecoms sector, Dominic is a fundraiser working mainly for community charities. Born near the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal, he mucked around at Camden Lock Market after school, and often walked the towpath. He came to narrowboats about 13 years ago, from sailing. He’s a certified skipper at the Pirate Castle, working with schools, disability and community groups, an active walk organiser/leader, and works to protect and save pubs across West London for CAMRA. He’s been a community organisation trustee in Covent Garden, non-executive director of Merton Priory Homes, and vice chairman Rambers Inner London Area.

Emma Waslin

Emma Waslin, currently the Programme Manager for Arts Council Initiative Creative and People and Places Hounslow, has extensive experience of working in theatre and the arts as a vehicle for change with children, young people and adults from economically and socially diverse backgrounds. Previously the Producer for Clean Break Theatre Company, and prior, strategic creative learning roles at Derby Theatre and Hull Truck Theatre, Emma has led on changes in culture in organisations to embed learning into the core work. Emma has vast knowledge of safeguarding and child protection. Across the years Emma has worked in partnership with companies including National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Slung Low and Frantic Assembly.  

Last date edited: 25 March 2019