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British Waterways Board: Finance

Volume 487: debated on Thursday 29 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) whether the £5 million spending on the infrastructure of British Waterways announced in the pre-Budget report will be included in the allocation for British Waterways for 2010-11; (251696)

(2) what budget his Department plans to provide for British Waterways in 2010-11.

The £5 million brought forward from 2010-11 to 2009-10 is a movement of indicative budget from one year to another and will not be double-counted. Final allocations for the constituent parts of the DEFRA budget for 2010-11 have not yet been made. The intention is to agree 2010-11 budgets by the spring of 2009.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of British Waterways' projected funding shortfall for 2010-11 in relation to the funding requirement identified by the steady state model. (252092)

DEFRA is working with British Waterways to agree a sustainable and affordable strategy for the waterways in order to get the best public benefits from the resources available.

The KPMG report published in September last year concluded that British Waterways has a significant funding gap in relation to the requirements of the steady state model. This has led to a review by British Waterways into its overall funding and initiatives to raise more income from a variety of sources and to see additional efficiencies and savings in its expenditure. These will feed into its consultation on future strategy later this year. We will discuss with British Waterways the conclusions of its review and its implications for future strategy and funding requirements for its waterways.