The surgeries will be similar to those used by MPs, with 15-minute slots for the public to work through ideas with staff from the charity, covering topics including boating, cycling, angling, ecology and heritage, among others. They will be held once a month across the South Wales & Severn waterway region, alternating between Gloucester, Diglis and Govilon in Wales.
The surgeries replace the existing group meetings, known as ‘User Forums', in this region on a trial basis. The aim is to give people more one-to-one time with staff from the charity. If successful the surgeries could be adopted in other regions.
Nick Worthington, waterways manager at Glandŵr Cymru, said: “The canals and rivers are people's homes, work places and holiday destinations, and almost everyone has ideas about how they can be improved. We want people to tell us their thoughts, ideas and concerns, so we can feed them into daily work and long term plans.
“The User Groups have been very well attended and we want to build on this by giving people more time with us to discuss the things that matter to them. I'd encourage anyone with an interest in the waterways, towpaths or surrounding area to come along to a surgery and contribute their ideas.”
Jack Hegarty, chair of the South Wales & Severn waterways partnership, said: “As a new charity we recognise the huge role local communities have in shaping their local waterways. We want to engage with the individuals, businesses, schools and interest groups in each community so the waterways are run in a way people want. The surgeries will be important in doing this, so I'd encourage people to get involved.”
Provisional times and locations are as follows:
- Thursday 4 April: 3-7pm Govilon Office
- Thursday 2 May: 3-7pm Gloucester Office
- Thursday 6 June: 3-7pm Diglis Basin Office
- Thursday 1 August: 3-7pm Govilon Office
- Thursday 5 September 3-7pm Gloucester Office
- Thursday 3 October : 3-7pm Diglis Basin Office
Attendees are asked to register their attendance in advance and submit questions in advance so staff can prepare detailed answers. To get in touch, or for more information contact [email protected]