Plea to improve neglected Barnoldswick locks

On Friday 2 November 2012, Pendle Today published an appeal from a local councillor who thought that a “Neglected” Barnoldswick beauty spot needed some tender loving care.

As a result Pendle Borough Councillor David Whipp is asking the Canal and River Trust to restore Greenberfield Locks to its former glory.

“Just a few years ago, Greenberfield Locks won the national championship for best-kept locks,” said Coun. Whipp.

“Now, the area is shamefully neglected. The Leeds and Liverpool Canal is Britain’s finest inland waterway, with Barnoldswick’s summit stretch and Greenberfield Locks the crowning glory. But the area is descending into dilapidation.

“Drystone walls are tumbling down; signs, gates and benches are falling to bits; and the area is overgrown and unkempt.

“The locks are a listed landmark – if we’re not careful, they’ll look more like an ancient ruin.”

Coun. Whipp raised the issue at the last meeting of the West Craven Area Committee suggesting that a representative of Canal & River Trust meets councillors at the locks to discuss the problem.

Waterway Watch hopes that someone from CRT will meet with the Council and suggest that as the local community are the beneficiaries of the tourist trade that is brought by the canal, perhaps they should be looking at ways they can improve the state of the locks and surroundings themselves. Local communities around the country are setting up teams of local volunteers and addressing such issues. The Council might consider how much of the ‘dilapidation’ is due to use by local residents.

Cllr Whipp added: “The Canal and Rivers Trust – has taken over running the canal from British Waterways. The trust gets £39 million a year grant from the Government.

Waterway Watch suggests that Cllr Whipp needs to realise that the grant is only 20% of what it costs to run the waterways and that for the waterways to survive it is time local authorities looked at ways they might assist rather than passing the buck all the time. The Pendle Borough Council annual report indicates that they have a total income of £59 million of which £42 million comes from Council Tax.

Cllr. Whipp added “I’m asking them (CRT) to spend a tiny fraction of their funds to renovate Greenberfield and keep it in good order. Waterway Watch notes that Pendle Borough Council has an annual budget of £2.9 million for Parks & Recreation – CRT’s budget for the entire 2,000 mile network is less than 3 times that  – surely Pendle can look after its own recreational areas and let CRT concentrate on navigational issues?

“The locks are an important destination for visitors and very popular with locals, too. They should be in pride of place, not somewhere you’re ashamed of.”

Waterway Watch suggests that if the locks are a source of visitors then your community is benefiting economically, then the Council would be wise to consider reinvesting some of that income to protect it for future years.

Coun. Whipp is hoping to meet with the canal’s operators in the next few weeks.

via CANAL: Plea to improve neglected Barnoldswick locks – Business News – Pendle Today.

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