Lock keepers to stay on site

Good news this week for lock keepers on the Thames which is good news for all of us who care about the river.

Over twenty lock keepers and their families will keep their riverside accommodation thanks to a deal negotiated by UNISON. Last May the Environment Agency had planned to sell the cottages.

“Having lock keepers living close to the water also means they can be first line of defence in case of flooding” says UNISON regional organiser Jeanette Roe.

“For the lock and weir keepers and their families, this is the news they have been waiting for.

“They have been on tenterhooks, facing the prospect of uprooting their families from homes they have lived in for up to thirty years. Now they can start the New Year knowing they can stay in their homes.

“The deal also gives lock and weir keepers improved job profiles and formal arrangements for their standby and call out duties.”

The plan to let the cottages as holiday homes was opposed by many including Reading MP and keen angler Martin Salter.

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