Newbury MP and former Waterways Minister, Richard Benyon, was named as IWA’s Parliamentarian of the Year 2015 at a function held at the House of Commons on Tuesday 3rd November.
The MP who was Minister during the transfer of more than half the country's navigations from British Waterways to Canal & River Trust, has retained a strong interest in the inland waterways and was recently elected as Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Waterways. He is also Chairman of the UK Water Partnership.
Presenting the award, IWA National Chairman Les Etheridge, said, ‘The support our inland waterways get from so many politicians always makes this a difficult decision and this year has been no different. Transferring inland waterways from government to charity control with an appropriate funding package was a brave and wise decision which recognised what volunteers bring to the waterways, and it is this as well as Richard’s continuing involvement in the waterways that make him this year’s IWA Parliamentarian of the Year.’