Barnoldswick beck cash on hold

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PLANS to help fish spawn at Stocks Beck in Barnoldswick have been put on hold after councillors disagreed over how to fund it.

The Ribble Catchment Conservation Trust asked the West Craven Committee to provide £3,000 to install a concrete pre-barrage below the existing weir to raise the water level and make it surmountable for salmon, sea trout and brown trout.

Work carried out in the beck over the past four years means fish are now reaching this point in the stream.

This has included clearance of invasive weeds, introduction of stone headlands and spawning gravel, and improvements to the flow characteristics using willow raddling. The Ribble Trust has estimated that the next stage of work, to be implemented next year, would cost in the region of £10,000. A bid for £6,000 has been made to the Environment Agency and £1,000 of the trust’s money is being used.

Coun. David Whipp proposed that the £3,000 needed be taken from a £5,000 pot which had been set aside in the committee’s Capital Programme budget to potentially help re-open Coates Community Centre. He said: “Housing Pendle has said it will pay 100% for Coates Community Centre to be reopened if the public demand is there. We don’t need to put anything in. This is a marvellous scheme and would be something we could be proud of in Barnoldswick.”

However, other councillors voted against the proposal.

Coun. Jennifer Purcell said the £5,000 should be kept until it was certain what was happening with the community centre. She said: “Fish are fish, but people are people and it is them we have to invest in.”