Although Kirklees is part of the United Kingdom, and even better still Yorkshire, it seems to exist in a vacuum as far as applying the law and widely agreed standards and practices on public rights of way. In particular the Council has great difficulty with the 40 year old BS:5709 .
The image above shows the latest modifications to a gate on Holmfirth Footpath 146 which was authorised in November 2017. In the time since and for various reasons including a padlock and chain, barbed wire, wooden splinters and excavated ground (not an exhaustive list! Ed) the gate has never met the simple requirements of BS:5709 .
Whilst the latest modification adding a “Bold” washing powder container (other brands are available. Ed) to cover wood splinters on the closing post is to be commended for its innovative recycling of single use plastic, that’s not really the point of BS:5709
It’s impossible for front line staff at Kirklees to effectively carry out their roles on public rights of way because of the toxic and anti public access culture that exists amongst senior managers and some councillors. The mildest of challenges from a landowner or their representative results in Kirklees managers and directors falling over themselves to apologise for staff doing their jobs properly,offering to review procedures (which are perfectly fine) and taking long walks to pick up dummies spat out by councillors. The result is no one rocks the boat to much and many public paths remain blocked, unusable,invisible and maintained to the lowest possible standard.
So after 20 months of Chuckle Brother Esque Carry On Up The Footpath nonsense it might be reasonable to expect removal of the gate on Footpath 146? After all the conditions authorising it’s installation (which the landowner signed up for) have not been met. So it should not be there hindering free passage. How hard can it be?
Impossible it would seem. In the upside down world of Kirklees Council this gate was mentioned in a report to the July 18th Planning Sub Committee. “Further liaison” is to take place! 🙂 🙂 🙂 What can there be to talk about? Perhaps a Daz plastic container should be used?