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Mark Bensted, London director of British Waterways, did not seem entirely on-message at the launch of the Thames Gateway Development Forum's funding announcement last Friday.

Bensted took the opportunity to complain about the quality of work there in the recent past.

'For every decent regeneration, there have been nine or 10 dodgy ones, ' he said. But perhaps a degree of grumpiness is apt for someone whose patch includes the Prescott channel, and is planning to construct a Prescott sluice.

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