Updated statement on Sankey Canal, Spike Island
Halton Borough Council is restating its commitment to a successful future for the Sankey Canal and Spike Island.
The Council is aware of the peaceful ‘Save our Sankey Canal’ gathering planned for the weekend.
Like those planning to attend the gathering and others who have raised their concerns over social media, the Council too wants the Sankey Canal and Spike Island to be thriving locations enjoyed by the whole community.
Likewise, the Council also wants to see water in the canal and continues to work to find a permanent and sustainable solution. Indeed, ward councillors, supported by Council officers have been working for many years to achieve this.
Talking directly to the individuals and local groups behind ‘Save our Sankey Canal’, Leader of Halton Borough Council Cllr Mike Wharton said:
“I do hear and understand your concerns.
“I want to assure you again of the Council’s long term commitment to both the Sankey Canal and Spike Island and to finding solutions to the current issues.
“Today, local interest groups have been invited to meet with senior Council officers, so that the officers can listen to the group’s concerns and for information to be shared about previous efforts and current plans to address the issues.
“I hope at the meeting there will also be an opportunity to dispel some of the rumours that are currently circulating – including that the Council plans to develop Spike Island for housing – which has absolutely no truth.
“As a result of these discussions, I really do hope that people will be reassured of our good intentions for the canal and Spike Island.”
To ensure the integrity of the canal structure for the years ahead, the Council is using the current low water levels as an opportunity to carry out a range of repairs and improvements that would have previously been extremely difficult to do. For example there is access to materials that were completely unknown to the engineers who built the Sankey Canal extension in the early 1830s. Materials that can help make the canal more waterproof than it ever was previously.
At the same time, fish rescue efforts will continue. To date approximately 13,000 fish (mostly roach, perch and bream) have been moved under license and agreement with the Environment Agency. 14 large carp and 5 large adult bream have also been safely moved to local waters.
In addition, work to clear out the rubbish that has accumulated over the decades remains on-going. Numerous clean-up exercises have been carried out since May which has resulted in more than six skips of waste, rubble and other items being removed, as well as a significant number of tyres and a large quantity of scrap metal.
For responses to frequently asked questions see https://hbcnewsroom.co.uk/sankey-canal-2/