Businesses in Helston are being urged to take more responsibility for the area in front of them as the town looks at ways of protecting its historic 'kennel' waterways for future generations.

It follows increasing concern over their state of repair and the fact that water has not flowed in the sections lining the town centre streets for many months.

Mayor John Martin said the town believed Cornwall Council had a responsibility to maintain the kennels as a listed structure, but added: "The difficulty is trying to persuade the authority that this is the case."

However, town projects officer Martin Searle suggested that funding could be available due to them being a "heritage asset" - the same description given to the town's Grylls Monument, which won it £36,000 in Heritage Lottery grant funding for restoration and development of the area.

"I think there is the potential to put the kennels and cobbles together as a community heritage project and see if we can get funding from the lottery, and other sources, to make it happen," he told a meeting of the town council on Thursday.

Councillor Gillian Geer said that in addition to the wider maintenance more needed to be done to improve the look of the kennels also.

"The other day the kennel outside 'Spoons' was filled with cigarette butts. It's disgusting," she said and questioned whether ash trays could be put outside and taken in at night.

Councillor Nicola Boase said this had been raised as a wider issue at a recent business forum meeting also, and it had been suggested a letter could be sent to all businesses asking them to clear not just cigarette butts but also rubbish and weeds from the section in front of them.

Councillor Mike Thomas believed there were three main issues: the look of the kennels, the lack of money for repairs and protecting the leats and kennels as a whole.

He agreed they were being used as ash trays and said: "People need to be educated how that is not good for our environment, full stop."

He went on to say that four years ago the town council asked Cornwall Council to protest the listed structures, and paraphrased: "We got a response saying, 'No money. You may have a point but we're doing the best we can in the current austerity climate'."

Back in 2017 Mr Thomas began a campaign to get the kennels placed on the World Heritage List but was told this would be difficult to do.

He said the final issue was how to sort out the cobbles lining the base of the kennels and then get some recognition for them.

He suggested a project looking further into their historical connections, adding: "They are an economic asset. People come to our town to see these kennels."

In response to Mr Thomas's idea that the town council could "address this with some solutions," Councillor Rev Danny Reed questioned whether there was a way to "put more pressure" on Cornwall Council - fearing the responsibility would simply be passed over.

In the meantime though it was agreed unanimously to ask Mr Searle to look at what funding might be available.