We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.

The council

In March 2012 our council met for the first time. Up to 35 members, a mix of nominated, co-opted, and elected individuals who reflect the wide appeal of the waterways.

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. It also has the responsibility of appointing and, if necessary, dismissing trustees.

See our:

Council members

Council members will serve for a period of four years. To contact nominated representatives or for general council enquiries, please email council@canalrivertrust.org.uk and your enquiry will be passed on.

Elected representatives:

Boating business

Nigel Stevens   nstevens@canalrivertrust.org.uk

Nigel and his wife operate a hire fleet and full service boatyard with moorings in Yorkshire. Nigel was a Waterway Recovery Group organiser, and chairman of London IWA in the early 70s and later worked for the restoration of the Rochdale Canal.

He is a past chairman of the British Waterways Advisory Forum and the Association of Pleasure Craft Operators. He is a member of the Manchester & Pennine Partnership and an observer on the our Navigation Advisory Group, Operations.

Anthony Matts  tmatts@canalrivertrust.org.uk 

Since the early 1960s, Tony has been involved with the canals and his business has continued for almost 50 years. In addition to trading in boat engineering and salvage, hiring, hospitality and retail, he has been involved with the Boat Safety Scheme since 1980.

He 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   afarrell@canalrivertrust.org.uk 

Ann studied physics at Bristol University, worked as a research scientist in the nuclear power industry, and then trained as a teacher, with a teaching career spanning 20 years. 

She was a Chester City councillor for 24 years and held the portfolio for culture and heritage in the City’s administration from 2001-2007. Ann has cruised over 15,000 miles on her narrow boat, ‘Ena May’. She is an Observer on the Trust's Navigation Advisory Group, Licensing & Moorings.

Clive Henderson   chenderson@canalrivertrust.org.uk 

Clive 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.

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   icaplan@canalrivertrust.org.uk 

Ivor'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 15 years living afloat, and has been involved in residential boating through the RBOA. He has been branch chairman of IWA, 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. 

Vaughan Welch   vwelch@canalrivertrust.org.uk  

Vaughan 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 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 started his career with British Waterways in 1976 as an apprentice carpenter. Later he was a section manager role in the East Midlands.

After five years managing the Black Country Canals he was seconded as an operational manager on a major canal restoration in Scotland. As enterprise manager, Midlands, 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.

Nominated representatives:

David Kent, nominated by the Angling Trust

David Kent champions the value of angling as a sport and recreation, its value across the social spectrum, participation for young people, and in generating income for the local economy and the Trust. 

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 is chief executive, British Canoeing. He started recreational canoeing aged 6 but chose to pursue a competitive career in sailing and athletics, eventually achieving the four-minute mile.  

He is a qualified accountant and banker with industrial and sports accounting experience. He is also 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

Before joining the CLA, Charles was a consultant in Brussels, worked at London Guildhall University, and was a political adviser at the National Farmers Union. 

He 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 has 36 years experience of guiding change to historic places, 25 of them as an English Heritage Inspector of Historic Buildings.

A former chair of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation, he is a specialist in industrial heritage. 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 was treasurer of Great Yarmouth Borough Council before taking early retirement in 2000. Since then he has concentrated on researching and writing canal history.

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. Peter is a member of the Trust's Heritage Advisory Group.

David Gibson, nominated by the Ramblers Association

David has been involved with canals as a boater and campaigner since the 60s and was a founder member of WRG and has heldbranch 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. David is an observer on the Trust's Navigation Advisory Group, Operations.

Professor Rafid Al Khaddar, nominated by the Society for the Environment

Rafid 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 and 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 a member of the Trust's Environmental Advisory Group.

Alison Ward, nominated by the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE)

Alison Ward is chief executive of Torfaen County Borough Council, the Welsh Unitary Authority for the Eastern Valley of South Wales.

She went to Exeter University to read Law. After qualifying as a solicitor, she spent two years practising criminal law in Sheffield.

She joined Torfaen CBC in 2002 as assistant chief executive 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. She is a member of the Trust's Joint Council & Trustees Appointments Committee.

Martyn Brunt, nominated by Sustrans

Martyn 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 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 was employed by the BBC as technical co-ordinator for the London 2012 Olympics. 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

After 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 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. Chloe is also a member of the Trust's Youth Engagement Advisory Group.

Waterway partnership chairs


Charlotte Atkins, Central Shires  chair.centralshires@canalrivertrust.org.uk

Charlotte 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  chair.eastmidlands@canalrivertrust.org.uk

Danny runs a limited company providing interim management services, following a decade operating at executive director level in public service.

He spent the previous 10 years in policy and structural fund roles in the European Commission. Before that, he worked in regional government in the west of Scotland, specialising in economic and community development, managing industrial re-structuring programmes in steel and shipbuilding sectors.

Danny is also a member of the Trust's Youth Engagement Advisory Group.

Tamsin Phipps, Kennet & Avon  chair.kennetavon@canalrivertrust.org.uk

Tamsin has had a varied career from special needs teacher, army officer, management development training manager to Public and
Government Affairs Manager for British Canoeing.

Her 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  chair.london@canalrivertrust.org.uk

Brian is a former chief executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (1995-2001) and non-executive chairman of BTG plc (2003-2008).

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  chair.manchesterpennine@canalrivertrust.org.uk

Walter is an independent advisor on sustainable development and partnership development and management with the public, private and third sectors.

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  chair.northeast@canalrivertrust.org.uk

Mark 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). Mark is a member of the Trust's Joint Council & Trustees Appointments Committee.

Brenda Harvey, North Wales & Borders  chair.northwalesborders@canalrivertrust.org.uk

Brenda 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  chair.northwest@canalrivertrust.org.uk

Bob 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  chair.southeast@canalrivertrust.org.uk

After 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. 

David Hagg, South Wales & Severn  chair.southwalessevern@canalrivertrust.org.uk

David 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  chair.westmidlands@canalrivertrust.org.uk

Peter 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


Brenda Adams

Last date edited: 16 September 2015