MPs Parliamentary Group
The initial idea for the Group came after the cross-party involvement of MPs in the successful campaign to persuade the Environment Agency not to dispose of lock-keepers’ houses. This was subsequently taken forward in a meeting between the then Reading West MP Martin Salter and RTS Chairman Peter Finch, in consultation with Maidenhead MP Theresa May, and it was agreed that the aims and objectives of the Group should be “to highlight and promote the economic, cultural, recreational and environmental value of he River Thames”.
Though the Group is be open to all MPs and Peers, the initial invitation went to the 56 MPs whose constituencies either border or are close to the Thames, stretching from the Cotswolds to the estuary. Parliamentarians and river-related groups will now have a forum focussed on the Thames which will allow them to discuss matters of concern and decide how best they can be resolved.
Martin Salter MP was elected the first Chairman of the group with John Howell MP, Fiona MacTaggart MP and Lord Campbell-Savours as Vice-Chairmen.
Following the 2010 General Election Kwasi Kwarteng, MP for Spelthorne, became Chairman and Jane Ellison, MP for Battersea, became the Treasurer.