Memorandum submitted by the Ashby Canal
Association (BW 65)
1.1 The Ashby Canal Association is a charitable
body which campaigns for the conservation, use, maintenance, restoration
and development of the Ashby Canal.
1.2 The Ashby Canal is an historic waterway
and a valuable amenity designated as a linear park and conservation
area. It provides for leisure boating, walking, angling and cycling
as well as nature conservancy benefits to the area.
2.1 As a direct result of the Defra cuts
to British Waterways budget in 2006 £1 million pounds was
axed from the phase 2 repair works to Shenton embankmant, on the
Ashby Canal, in this financial year and £1.5 million from
phase 3 repairs in 2007-2008 financial year.
Instead of a major repair and stabilisation
of the embankment only effective patch up of the worst areas is
now possible. The embankment overlooks the site of the Battle
of Bosworth 1485, which attracts many thousands of visitors a
2.2 The implications of not carrying out
the major repair works are that we are living with the risk of
a failing embankment. The consequences of which at Shenton would
be highly significant due to the sheer volume of water on what
is effectively a stretch of water in excess of 60km in length.
The effect in the local area would be massive and not only have
the potential to flood local properties, put locals lives at risk
but also to cause significant damage to the historic battlefield
3.1 The network of Inland Waterways in the
UK is unique. No other country in the world has such an extensive
canal system, the majority of which is over 200 years old, it
is our heritage and as such should be saved and passed on for
future generations to enjoy and learn from. It attracts many thousand
visitors each year from across the globe and provides employment
in construction and tourism. In the 1950's it was a scene of dereliction
and decay, lack of investment and changes in transport systems
had all but killed it off. The resurgence in the 1990's has revitalised
the network with more boats, walkers, visitors and development
than ever before. City centres are being reborn around the canals,
London, Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds and Nottingham
to name a few.
We must not let this investment be wasted but
maintain the work that has been started and continue the funding
to British Waterways to facilitate the improvements and maintenance
that this historic network so richly deserves.
The Ashby Canal Association