Valerie holds meeting on Walsall canals

On Friday 18 December 2015 I met with representatives of the Canals and Rivers Trust, the Inland Waterways Association, the Birmingham Navigation Society and Walsall MBC to discuss how to increase usage of Walsall’s canal infrastructure.


There were many ideas such as ways to encourage the community to take ownership of our canals, the possibility of holding events on the canal, the importance of ensuring new developments face the canals so they are not neglected, the possibility of linking with Public Health to promote walking and the need for more facilities for boaters. I suggested an event could be held to celebrate the links with Walsall of Jerome K Jerome, the author of Three Men in a Boat. Walsall MBC and the Canal and Rivers Trust agreed to look at the possibility of installing water and waste facilities at the Town Canal Basin to encourage more boaters to moor there, representatives from the Inland Waterways Association will hold events on the canal that will bring more people to the water’s edge and the Canal and Rivers Trust will add mooring points will also bring people to the waters’ edge.


Canals have played an important part in our industrial heritage. They also provide the infrastructure for people to walk and cycle safely.


Our canal network is a wonderful but hugely underused resource. Revitalising the network has the potential to bring economic, health and social benefits to Walsall. I hope this meeting marks the start of efforts to bring our canals back to life.