A BOAT club will tackle abandoned boats in the River Leven after obtaining a lease from the council for control over a section of its waters.

Leven Cruising Club has got its hands on a stretch of the river known as Monkey Island, which runs from Balloch Bridge in Balloch to the oil pipe line. But the site has been blighted by abandoned vessels.

Balloch and Haldane community councillors recently dubbed the untended boats “manky”, and called for something to be done to get rid of them.

And secretary of the Leven Cruising Club, Jim Lough, says they are relishing the opportunity to be more proactive.

Jim told the Reporter: “Up until now we have not had the ability or responsibility to take action. We’ve now been granted that by the council.

“These boats had not been left by the cruising club – it did reflect badly on us. Sometimes someone will abandon a boat and we don’t know who it is.”

The lease for the area had been held previously by West Dunbartonshire Council, and the hand-over signifies the end of seven years of negotiations between the club and local authority.

Jim Biddulph, secretary of the community council, said: “It’s good that the club have got the lease, and that area will be safe for them for a number of years.”

A council spokeswoman said they supported the intentions of the cruising club.

A spokesperson from Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park added: “Sadly abandoned and sunken boats have been a problem on the River Leven for some time and as we are not the landowner the park authority does not have any powers to intervene. However if the boats have an identifiable registration number we would be happy to contact owners directly, where possible, to request removal to support the club’s efforts.”