South East Waterway Partnership

Find out who's who in the South East Waterway Partnership.

John Best, chair

Former chief executive of Milton Keynes Council, John is a qualified engineer and trained and extensively experienced town planner. He is also trustee director of Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust and in the past was secretary of a pioneering waterway pressure group in East London, the Lee Valley Association, which promoted community activity on, along and around the waterway.

Ann Davies

Ann runs her own boat hire businesses in both the UK and on the continent. Ann is a very experienced trade champion having held Chair positions on both APCO (Association of Pleasure Craft Operators) and BHCF (British Hire Cruiser Federation), she was also a past board member of British Marine Federation (BMF). Currently Ann is chair of a BMF sub-committee and an appointed member of the British Waterways’ Ombudsman’s Committee.

Kathryn Dodington

Kathryn retired from a 35-year business related IT career in British Airways in 2010. She has a passion for waterways, having been introduced to the waterways by her aunt, the original 'Idle Woman', Daphne March. She is a member of the Stoke Bruerne Canal Partnership, The Friends of the Canal Museum, and volunteers with the local canal adoption group.

Cath Fincher

Cath is an enthusiastic boater usually covering more than a thousand miles each year. She is a regular towpath walker and canal cyclist with a considerable interest in industrial archaeology and canal history and heritage, as well as nature and the environment. She is a recently retired Subject Leader of Computing and ICT in a large and successful secondary school.

Lynda Payton

Lynda is an interior designer and website designer and, having run a London based business for 17 years, is now a freelance consultant. She has extensively supported waterways and related interests through her longstanding links with the Northampton Inland Waterway Association, Stoke Bruerne Canal Partnership and Friends of Stoke Bruerne Canal Museum.

Dick Pilkinton

Current chair of GUSAC (Grand Union South Angling Consultative) as well as a member of the National Angling Advisory Group, Dick has a commercial background in logistics and customer care. He is a tireless advocate for the canal network in its broadest sense across the region.

Tim Carter

Tim grew up sharing a passion for canals with his Dad and is skilled in all aspects of historic narrow boat restoration. He has operated hotel boats, trip boats, commercial and freight vessels. Until recently he was an Associate Director of an outdoor theatre and events company both show casing large scale productions internationally and using arts to develop social inclusion projects nationally. Currently he operates a 1930's vintage camping narrow boat with an emphasis on introducing the next generation to the historic importance of our waterways

Sam Bradford

Sam brings a wealth of experience from the volunteering sector, having been a Cub Scout leader in Milton Keynes for the past 11 years. Organising many scouting events, camps and unusual sleepovers for the group, she has provided lifelong memories for the young Cubs and scouts within the group, not to mention vital life skills and moral values which is at the heart of scouting.

Professionally, Sam works as chartered financial planner within the private banking arm of Barclays, helping to bring sound financial judgment and a commercial understanding to the partnership.

As a keen runner and cyclist, Sam is a regular tow path user and enjoys the tranquility and abundance of wildlife the canals have to offer.

Sam is married to David, a fellow scout leader, and has three teenage children. 

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.

Jenny Ballinger

Jenny is a former live-aboard boater having spent 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 whenever possible.  

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.

Tav Kazmi, Interim Waterway Manager


Last date edited: 9 February 2018