Encouraged by David Cameron a new All Party Parliamentary Group for the River Thames has been set up at Westminster.

The group, chaired by Henley MP John Howell, consists of 20 MPs and a  member of the House of Lords.

Mr Howell said: “Along with the Prime Minister, I welcome the establishment of the new, focused All Party Parliamentary Group for the Thames.

“We have a determination to meet the challenges and opportunities that we face along the Thames - including of course the problem of flooding – on an all-Party basis.

“We also want to work together to make the most of our iconic river for local communities and the economy, as well as for the very many visitors who come each year”.

Besides support from the Prime Minister the group has been set up with the backing of the River Thames Alliance, the group of more than 100 organisations, companies and individual members, whose aim is to encourage river-wide policies for the Thames.

The RTA will be offering specialist support. In a statement the Alliance said: “[The group] has asked that the first business meeting should explore flooding related issues, covering not just London, but the entire length of River Thames, from source to sea.

“The River Thames Alliance can offer specialist knowledge and expertise covering many topics including sport and recreation, navigation, moorings, planning policy, tourism, marketing, the environment, education, hydrology and flood risk management”.

The first meeting of the Parliamentary group will consider the new Waterways Plan drawn up by the RTA and approved by its members in December. See more about the plan and the RTA HERE.

The Parliamentary group has also received the support of the Theresa May, the Home Secretary and MP for Maidenhead.

Michael Shefras, Executive Officer of the River Thames Alliance said: "The Thames Waterways Plan 2015/21 approved by the members in December is now delivering actions to take forward the 52 action points covered in the plan.    

"The Thames All Party Parliamentarian Group is going to be an enormous asset as we move forward taking the overarching and holistic view of the Thames Catchment and is yet another step forward."

Story dated Feb 9th 2016