Council chiefs are set to decide if they will accept responsibility for three of the oldest monuments in the borough – the Town Wells.
At the moment, no one has a registered title to the three wells – St Mary’s Well, Stock’s Well and Heild Well – which were the chief water sources for Clitheroe residents until the mid-1850s when a piped water supply was introduced.
This lack of ownership has repeatedly stopped any long term strategy for their care and, over the years, the historic fabric of the wells has deteriorated.
The Town Wells Working Group and Clitheroe Civic Society have been trying to get a strategy together for the past decade and the issue will be discussed at Ribble Valley Borough Council’s Community Services Committee on January 8th.
Currently, RVBC budget around £300 a year to maintain the wells, and CCS, alongside other organisations, has assisted with the cleaning and repair of the wells plus the provision of information plaques.
However, members of CCS believe that with a proper long-term strategy and increased funding the trio of wells can be cared for and managed in a manner as befits these unique Grade II Listed local heritage assets.
Chairman of CCS, Steve Burke, said: “With the recent proposal for the adoption of a tourism destination management plan there is new optimism within the Society for the recognition of the economic development potential and benefit from the promotion of Heritage Tourism.
"Only RVBC can be the effective owners in title of these assets. Once the ownership issue is resolved, community groups such as ours are prepared to fully assist the authority to secure a future for these monuments.”