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.
Chair - Sir Peter Dixon
Sir Peter is a sailor, motor boater, canoeist, paddle boarder, runner, walker and bird watcher and brings a wide range of skills and experience at executive and board level. He has a background in the housing, health and charitable sectors and is Chair of Optivo Housing Group and Flint Housing Ltd. He is also President of the English Rural Housing Association and is a Trustee at the National Parks Foundation. His previous roles include Chair of Diabetes UK, Chair of the Broads Authority planning committee and Chair of University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. He was knighted in 2009 for services to housing. Involved in the battle to save City Road Basin in Islington from development in the 1970s, he continues to volunteer as a waterways ranger as well as teaching sailing to children as an RYA instructor.
David has lived in London all his life and has been a canal boater since 1967. He joined Hillingdon Council in 1969 as a trainee committee clerk and rose to become head of Democratic Services and the Council's Returning Officer. David retired in October 2007 and was made a Freeman of the Borough for his services to the community. Since retirement he has been Chairman of the Hayes Town Partnership. David also set up the Hillingdon Canals Partnership with the Council, the Trust and other organisations to exploit the potential of the Borough's 21 miles of canal. In 2017 he was made an Honorary Fellow of Brunel University.Louis Howell
Louis is a dynamic and rounded professional with experience that pans the voluntary youth sector, education sector and the world of small business. Today, he runs a marketing transformation company, co-runs an educational social enterprise and is a trustee and volunteer at 2 small London-based charities. His work with the Canal & River Trust began when he worked on the Action Squad's Programme, headed up by NCVYS, which engaged and supported young people in social action across the canal network. This partnership, combined with the fantastic relationship maintained with the team since then, has seen Louis come back regularly to train the Trust's staff and volunteers on the most effective ways of engaging and working with young people. Louis is also chair of the Trust's Youth Engagement Advisory Group and Co-opted member for Youth on the Trust's council.Matthew Hunt
Matthew is a keen boater, spending as much of his free time as he can navigating the South-East waterways with his young family. He has previously experienced life aboard a narrowboat on a central London mooring, and more recently continuously cruised the south-eastern network, so has a real feel for life on the water, its pleasures and its challenges. Professionally, 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.Loraine Butler
Loraine is a retired bank manager, having worked for a clearing bank in personal & business banking and now runs a small business. Loraine volunteered with the Hillingdon Narrowboats Association for 20 years, as a steerer, trustee and chair. During this time she was a trainer delivering Certificate in Community Boat management (CCBM) courses and working to introduce young people to the waterways by leading Duke of Edinburgh's award Gold Residential events. Loraine has boated intensively on the London and South Eastern Waterways and Thames tideway. She was also a trustee of the National Community Boat Association.
Loraine has continued her work with young people by volunteering with the London Borough of Hillingdon Youth Justice Team and her involvement with the Trust started when she joined the Navigation Advisory Group's Moorings sub-group.John Lewis
John is an Executive Director at Peabody Trust, London's oldest housing association. John is leading one of London's largest regeneration programmes which will position Thamesmead as London's New Town, creating 20,000 new homes of all tenure types to help meet the Capital's housing needs. Previously he spent 6 years as CEO of Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation, a self-funded charitable organisation providing support services to maintain and enhance the world's first garden city. John joined the Heritage foundation from Milton Keynes Partnership, a government funded delivery agency, where he was CEO responsible for the economic and housing growth of the new city. John is a professional member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and has a Master of Arts in Urban Regeneration. John is the Chair of Greatwell Homes a Northamptonshire based Housing Association and is a Director of the Creative Land Trust, a charity established to secure affordable workspace for creatives in London.