Anyone who has any dealings at all with local government soon learns that it is set up to do as little as it can as often as it can. Platitudes and evasion are regularly deployed. Smiles and big words make you feel important whilst they pack you off with a finely honed patronising tone to ensure you’ll never darken the Town Hall doorway again.
So it’s always particularly pleasing when this status quo is challenged and a micro victory gained.Even if it is only in the esoteric area of public rights of way.
Holmfirth Footpath 57 runs out of Netherthong towards Bradshaw Road. A lovely rural walk but for some years now suffering from flooding and quagmire like conditions even in summer. Sections of the path have fallen into the stream at some points making it a dead end route.
As ever polite requests for action from locals,users groups and even councillors have been met with the usual scorn from Kirklees. “Outside our remit”, “low priority”, Council cutbacks”, “can’t be arsed” etc etc. Enough to drive the most public spirited member of the community to despair.
In some cases it is possible to serve a notice under section 56 of the Highways Act 1980 on a local council when a path is out of repair. In effect this tells them to knock it off and fix the bloody thing. Holmfirth Footpath 57 fit the bill nicely and well within a year of a notice being served the path has been restored and is open again to public use.