Protesters march against Daventry’s canal plans

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Protesters marched through Daventry town centre on Saturday to voice their opposition to plans to build a canal arm into the town.

Organised by members of the local Labour Party, the protest met in Bowen Square before heading down Sheaf Street and Brook Street to end by the Eastern Way playing field.

Cllr Wendy Randall, who leads the Labour opposition group on DDC, addressed the march in Bowen Square. She said: “They talk about a new development in town, but we want the town to be revitalised.

“Little shops are talking to me – they say they’re at risk of going bust, that footfall in the town is falling.

“They fear spending money on this new ‘centre’ on Eastern Way will mean fewer people coming to the High Street and Sheaf Street.

“You should be expecting your councillors to be standing up on the district council. They should be standing up and voting against the canal because that is what their electorate want. But does that happen? No.”

The group of around 120 people headed off chanting ‘Say no to the canal – it’s a waste of money’.

Opponents of the canal proposals say that the district council has spent too much so far on the plans, and will spend even more in future, and that money could be better spent on rejuvenating the existing town centre.

Those who back the canal point out the money spent so far will work to draw in far more in future, that a big plan like the canal is needed to make Daventry more attractive to shoppers and businesses, and that those against the canal have no come up with an alternative plan that could achieve the same goals.

Once at the Eastern Way playing field, Cllr Randall once again spoke to the group, telling them about the plans for the site, and introduced the Labour candidates for the town wards in May’s elections for Daventry District Council.