There is good news from the Environment Agency which has announced that it will not be selling Thames’ lock cottages.
The quango claims to have “listened carefully” to objections and to recognise that “flood risk” requires lock keepers to be resident along the river.
It now has made a commitment to ensure that there is a resident lock keeper at each of the 45 locks along the Thames.
There are however still plans to sell five relief cottages which are not on the river but the EA has guaranteed that no lock and weir staff will be made homeless or redundant.
An all-party campaign opposed the plan to sell the cottages and make lock keepers commute. Reading Labour MP Martin Salter says: “This is fantastic news for everybody who cares about the future of the River Thames.” Conservative MP for Esher & Walton said is was a “victory for common sense”.