As many as 22 lock keepers’ cottages on the River Thames are to be sold or rented out. The lock keepers and their families must move out.
I am sorry to see this reported in The Times today.Â
Marlow Lock’s cottage is one of ten to be sold and Cookham’s will be rented as the Environment Agency tries to reduce spending.
Eileen McKeever, the Environment Agency’s Thames manager, says: “We are aware that this is a very emotive issue for lock keepers and their families but we have been running the river in the same manner for 40 or 50 years and we need to modernise our working practices.”
What is wrong with the constant care and policing of the last 50 years? It works very well. Have the lock keepers been wasting their time? How much better railway stations were when they had a resident station master. There was no vandalism.
Lock keepers, who earn around Â£16,000 a year and are responsible for maintaining the water flow at weirs as well as looking after locks, will have to find a home elsewhere. The Chief Executive Baroness Young is paid Â£200,000 a year.Â
55 year old Steve Drewett who has worked as a lock keeper for 23 years has been told that he and his family must leave his cottage at Sunbury Lock.Â
Think about this as you walk the Thames Path this summer. Drop off at the Houses of Parliament and tell your MP what you think about the policy.