HERITAGE bosses have drawn up an agreement to improve the restoration and maintenance of historic structures along Pocklington Canal.

Cabinet members at East Riding of Yorkshire Council are due to meet tomorrow to approve plans for a Heritage Partnership Agreement with English Heritage and British Waterways.

The aim is to outline the different organisations’ responsibilities, establish a high standard of repairs and maintenance and reduce bureaucracy by clarifying where listed building consent is required. The 19th-century canal is used for boat tours and the banks are popular with ramblers.

The report to the cabinet describes it as “cherished by the local community”.

The report also explains how the agreement will mean problems such as graffiti can be dealt with more swiftly. It states: “Normally, the council would be consulted to agree a method which does not harm the historic surface.

“By having laid out and defined in the agreement which kind of method can be used without consent and which would need consultation with the local planning authority, most graffiti can be removed promptly without time- consuming consultation.”

Pocklington Canal, which opened in 1818 and is nine-and-a-half miles long, is navigable from its junction with the River Derwent at East Cottingwith to Melbourne, where several boats are moored.

Pocklington Canal Amenity Society, which has been consulted in drawing up the agreement, organises boat trips.

The canal includes four scheduled ancient monuments, eight Grade II listed locks and four sites of special scientific interest, as well as designated nature conservation sites. The agreement will run until 2014, with the potential for a further five-year extension. The report says the canal has assets of “high heritage, scientific and ecological significance” and the agreement is intended to improve the management of its heritage structures.