The long running saga of Colne Valley Footpath 144 is rapidly approaching a first birthday! The council has managed to turn a relatively straightforward case of fly tipping on the path into an impressive comedy of errors. PathWatch may even write a book about it as we’ve written so much rubbish about the ..er…rubbish. See here here here here here and here
The thing to remember is that legally the council is not a neutral player on many matters concerning public rights of way. It has a statutory duty to “assert and protect” the rights of the public to use rights of way and a duty to “prevent their stopping up”. The Council, it’s officers and councillors are duty bound to act in the public interest and with integrity at all times.
Seen through the prism of legal and procedural responsibilities it is difficult to fathom how a situation like that on Colne Valley Footpath 144 can be allowed to develop and continue. The council would appear to be doing the opposite of what it is legally obliged to do. It continues to permit dumping on the path along with its continued closure.
Any reader of this blog will know this is not an isolated case but pretty much par for the course for a rights of way problem in Kirklees.