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Independent chair named for Wharfe Partnership

The Wharfe Partnership, which has been formed to improve the health of the river Wharfe following DEFRA’s decision to grant bathing water designation in Ilkley, has appointed an independent chair.

Roger Falconer, who is currently emeritus professor of water and environmental engineering and founding director of the Hydro-environmental Research Centre at the School of Engineering, Cardiff University, will formally take up his position as independent chair of the partnership at the first meeting of the board in the coming months.

He brings a wealth of experience in engineering and hydro-environmental modelling, water security, water quality and flooding and was formerly professor of water engineering and head of civil engineering at Bradford University.

Roger is an Ilkley resident and an Environment Agency appointed member of the Yorkshire Region Flood and Coastal Committee.

Speaking of his appointment Roger said: “The bathing designation at Ilkley and the plans set out to deliver good ecological status of the river are positive for the region. Collaboration and partnership working will be vital in delivering the aims of the partnership and I’m pleased to be playing my role as chair.

“As an Ilkley resident I understand the important role the Wharfe Partnership will play locally in the coming years and I’m looking forward to bringing my experience to the partnership as we look to progress the ambitious goals for the Wharfe.”

Ahead of the first board meeting, a virtual town hall meeting will take place on 13 May to update residents in Ilkley on the progress of the partnership, with a focus on water safety and visitor management plans from Bradford Council. There will also be updates from Yorkshire Water, the Environment Agency and other partners on a range of activities underway as part of the partnership.

Anyone wishing to attend can register at via www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/river-wharfe-partnership-update-tickets-147762133519