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News article created on 5 September 2013

South East’s canals rope-in expertise from local councillor

We've just appointed a new member to the South East Waterway Partnership, who will get involved and provide advice on how the canals in the South East are used and looked after.

We have over 250 miles of waterways in the South East so it’s great that we have a representative with an interest in and local knowledge of Oxfordshire who can help us make the most of the waterways in his home county. John Best

Ken Atack, a Cherwell District Councillor, had a career of 40 years in the UK banking sector before retirement and is currently the council’s lead member for financial management.

With an interest in community issues Ken represents constituents from Claydon to the outskirts of Banbury in North Oxfordshire. He is keen to encourage tourism in local towns and rural communities that are located alongside the canal as well as promote the region’s canal network to the thousands of people and numerous businesses that benefit from the waterways.

Conservation area

Cherwell District Council has recently created a conservation area covering the Oxford Canal which evidences the historical context and local importance of the waterway.

Ken has a keen interest in waterways and lives with his wife Sandra near Cropredy in a house once lived in and used to make ropes by George Eaves for use on the Oxford Canal in the 19th Century.

Ken said: “I am thrilled at the prospect of being part of the South East Waterway Partnership. I’m looking forward to helping shape local decisions, advise on the development of the waterways and come up with new ideas and projects that will hopefully encourage more people and boaters to visit the region’s wonderful canals.”

John Best, chair of the South East Waterway Partnership, said: “I am delighted Ken has joined us on the South East partnership. We have over 250 miles of waterways in the South East so it’s great that we have a representative with an interest in and local knowledge of Oxfordshire who can help us make the most of the waterways in his home county.”