Council plea - clean up our river of shame

Rubbish in a section of the River Waring
Rubbish in a section of the River Waring

Councillors in Horncastle have called for ‘someone, somewhere’ to take responsibility for one of the town’s rivers which they say is in a disgusting state.

Town councillors say that in places, the River Waring is strewn with rubbish - including traffic cones - and the banks are clogged with weeds.

During a recent town tidy up, various items were pulled from the river. Residents have told The News that shopping trolleys and furniture are dumped in it.

Speaking at a Town Council meeting, Coun Brian Burbidge described sections of the river as ‘disgusting’.

Now, town Mayor Coun Angela Burchall says the Waring is letting the town down.

She said: “People take a real pride in helping keep Horncastle tidy and we are very grateful to all the volunteers.

“However, the River Waring does let the town down. It’s really bad near the swimming pool building.”

Town clerk Gillian Mauger said she had contacted East Lindsey District Council which had indicated it was the responsibility of other agencies.

A spokesman confirmed ELDC is responsible for clearing fly-tipping from ELDC owned land and the public highway. He said ELDC had already dealt with approximately 60 instances of fly-tipping in the Horncastle area in the last year.

He added: “The responsibilities around water courses are more vague as different authorities and landowners all have responsibilities for different parts of the river depending on the land ownership either side and whether the litter is causing a blockage which could be a potential flood risk.”

Environment Agency operations manager Leigh Edlin said: “The work we do around rivers is first and foremost around reducing flood risk and maintaining flood structures.

“If there are large items obstructing the course of a river we would remove them if we believe there is a risk of flooding. “

Coun Birchall stressed the Town Council would continue to press for action to be taken, adding: “Someone, somewhere must be responsible.”

The town’s county councillor Bill Aron said: “I would like to see the rivers utilised more for residents and visitors.

“The watermill basin could be a lot more attractive and with the slipway made more accessible to allow for canoeing.

“I am in touch with the Boston Canoe Club to arrange some trial sessions for local teenagers.

“As to the state of the rivers, unfortunately ‘Rivercare’ became defunct five or six years ago and it would be a good idea to restart it.

“Anglian Water, along with the EA and other agencies, supported the group who met regularly and cleared the two rivers of all sorts of objects.

“Although the EA has the ultimate responsibility for ensuring the rivers flow freely - they do require those organisations or companies whose property ends up in the river to retrieve rubbish themselves.”

“Restarting Rivercare is something ive asked to be raised at town council”