The Basingstoke Canal Authority
The Basingstoke Canal is jointly owned by Surrey and Hampshire County Councils. The Basingstoke Canal Authority (BCA), was set up in 1992 to manage the Basingstoke Canal as a maintaining agent on behalf of the two County Councils. The BCA has no legal or corporate identity itself and the staff of the BCA are employed by Hampshire County Council and work to the financial, health and safety and governance policies of that Council. A Service Plan relates to and supports the service level agreement between the BCA and the partnership of local authorities.
This Partnership also comprises six local funding borough and district councils: Hart, Rushmoor, Guildford, Surrey Heath, Woking and Runnymede. Hart District is further comprised of local Parishes and Fleet Town Council who contribute revenue funding to maintain the canal.
There are a number of strategic action plans that replace the “Basingstoke Canal Post Restoration Management Plan (1991)”.
- Strategic Development Framework – sets out the overall development proposals for management of the Canal. It also sets the context for the other four action plans which are separate stand-alone management strategies with their own objectives, policies and programmes.
- Conservation Management Plan – sets out policies and programmes to manage the SSSI, reversing the current unfavourable condition, to achieve unfavourable recovering condition and ultimately favourable condition.
- Canal Visitor Centre and Recreational Development Plan – sets out policies and programmes to promote education, navigation and open public access while generating increased levels of income.
- Service Plan – sets out policies and programmes to maintain the Canal, manage its use and carry out day-to-day planned preventative maintenance of the structure of the Canal.
- Asset Management Plan – Sets out policies and programmes for the long term repair and maintenance of the Canal structure and main physical assets.
In 2000, the JMC agreed the following vision for the Canal.
”To provide a unique facility for improving quality of life through the harmonious management of the Canal’s waterway, navigation, conservation and recreation elements and to maximise the potential for developing new opportunities for all”