Wilts & Berks Canal Trust
Welcome to "On The Button", the electronic newsletter for the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust.
 
New Look
We, in the Comms Team, are contemplating a new format and name for OTB, along with other changes to Dragonfly and the recently established emails to members. We  don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater so we need your help in making the several choices that need to be considered. We aim to deliver a polished, information packed monthly electronic newsletter to all our members for whom we have an email address. Our objective is just as before, to keep members informed about and involved in the public benefit work of our Trust, while avoiding email overload. 

Mindful of the significant minority of members who do not use email, we also plan to send a quarterly paper newsletter / magazine to all members not on our email list.  The financial obstacles that prevented the continuation of the 'old' Dragonfly are now behind us, so we are able to consider this now.  We would very much like to hear your comments on this - please email  chris.barry@wbct.org.uk with your feedback.
M4 Crossing
Tessa Lanstein, Rod Hacker, Ken Oliver and our CEO, Gordon Olson, took part in a virtual meeting with Highways England (HE) on 21st September. They learned that our bid for M4 Crossing project funding had been deferred, but definitely not rejected. HE wants to work closely with the Trust to get a better understanding of the community environment and wellbeing benefits that will be delivered by a joined-up canal across Wiltshire and Oxfordshire.

We have undertaken to have our part of this task completed by 23rd October, aided by very helpful policy guidance newly published by HE.
The M4 motorway was always the greatest hurdle to be overcome by our Trust, and that obstacle will soon be tackled by the Trust and HE working together. It will be a key part of restoring our blue-green corridor between Swindon & Royal Wootton Bassett - indeed, it takes that project from the realms of fantasy to reality.  Not only will boats be passing between the two communities, but so will walkers and cyclists - and we mustn't forget the wildlife!  It will mean that those who have doubted our dogged persistence will be able to take us more seriously from now on.
Trust's MPs and Champions
In anticipation of the canal's greater regional profile, we are pleased to have all five MPs along the Semington-Abingdon line signed up as supporters, as already announced in a recent email.  We are already engaging with three of them concerning various local issues, and anticipate further support from our other, more local, Champions
Project restart and start dates
The Executive recently agreed that work on the Pewsham Top Lock would be scheduled for restart on 1st October 2020. This date is conditional on an independent third party review of our Health & Safety practices and compliance having been completed to the satisfaction of all the involved stakeholders.

A start on the work at Shrivenham Canal Park to re-water the 120m of canal we own there and to address the improvement of its biodiversity has been scheduled for 1st November 2020.
Merger of East Vale and Abingdon
We are pleased to announce the formal merger of the East Vale and Abingdon Branches, under the Chairmanship of Peter Scatchard.  Peter was one of the driving forces behind the construction of the Jubilee Junction with the Thames at Abingdon.  Since then things have been somewhat quiet there, partly because of the prospect of a huge reservoir on the line.  A final decision on that has yet to be made, but be assured that if it is built, the canal will benefit.
Organisation update
There have inevitably been some changes in the Trust's central organisation - please find below the current 'who's who'. The news is good - a number of key vacancies have been filled, which in turn means that we can devote more attention to the reason the Trust is here - to restore the Wilts & Berks canal!
 
200 Club
You can now buy tickets to join the 200 Supporters Club 2021. Buying a ticket gives you a chance to win some money but you are also supporting the Trust. Half of your ticket money is used to support the work of the Trust. If you would like to participate and read more information about the 200 Club go to
https://www.wbct.org.uk/200club
The closing date for applications is 31st January 2021.
Wilts & Berks Canal Trust,
Dauntsey Lock Canal Centre,
Dauntsey Lock,
Chippenham, SN15 4HD
Telephone: 0845 625 1977
Email: administrator@wbct.org.uk
For membership enquiries please email membership@wbct.org.uk and include your postcode and your membership number if known.

Wilts & Berks Canal Trust: A Non-Profit-Distributing Company Limited by Guarantee
Restoring in partnership the Wilts & Berks canal through Wiltshire, Swindon and Oxfordshire
Registered in England and Wales No. 2267719
Registered Address:
Dauntsey Lock Canal Centre
Dauntsey Lock
Chippenham, WIL SN15 4HD
United Kingdom

Office telephone: 0845 625 1977 Registered Charity No: 299595
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