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Stroud MP urges government to help fund Cotswold Canals Trust

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Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie has asked the government to fund work to conserve and improve inland waterways, including those looked after by the Cotswolds Canals Trust.

Ms Baillie is vice president of the trust and paid tribute to the expert volunteers in parliament this week who have done so much for the community as canals are restored in the town.

She talked about spending time dredging local canals with volunteers and said the trust has bold ambitions to link the River Severn to the Thames and to use it to transfer water across the country to drier areas.

“We have made a real commitment to restoring the Cotswold canals to full navigation in the interests of conservation, biodiversity and local quality of life,” she told MPs.

She invited the Defra minister Rebecca Pow to visit Stroud and then asked: Will she give the Government a bit of a kick on funding and ensure they understand the importance of that? 

“I say “they” because it is not just Defra—it is the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Department of Health and Social Care and so many other Government departments. They need to understand that when we ask for support for our canal and waterway networks, it is about tourism, health, wellbeing and the local economy. 

“I ask the Government to work with organisations such as the Cotswolds Canals Trust because they are stacked full of experts and they are constructive. They do not ask for something unless they genuinely need it, because their first port of call is usually to try to find things and do it themselves. I cannot thank my local teams enough.”

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