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.

David Brough

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.

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.

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 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.

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.


Last date edited: 19 May 2021