Six years ago, British Waterways stated the role of Waterways Partnerships was to “help shape plans for each waterway.” It added “They guide the Trust’s decisions about spending and help develop local engagement, external funding while championing the interests of the waterways.”
However, within a year of British Waterways becoming Canal & River Trust , the role of Waterways Partnerships was already being questioned. The All Party Parliamentary Group for Waterways, led by Sir Tony Baldry MP and Huw Irranca-Davies MP, both former Waterways Ministers, conducted an inquiry to evaluate the progress and plans of C&RT's Waterway Partnerships.
The inquiry found no Partnership had a completed plan and recommended that strategic plans were put in place within a year. Furthermore, it was found that Waterways Partnerships lacked clarity of role.