I mentioned this obstruction a few weeks ago and I’m happy to report that the offending fence has now been completely removed!
It would hard to find a more straightforward and obvious obstruction on a public footpath yet It’s taken 2 years to get it removed. In that time the Council’s position has moved from “it’s not an obstruction” to “it is an obstruction”. That’s quite a change and demonstrates the Council’s default position of permitting obstructions on public footpaths unless and until they come under intense pressure to do otherwise.
In this and many other cases it takes a notice under the Highways Act to force Kirklees into action. This is despite the authorities statutory duties under the same act and its duty to act in the public interest.
In addition this is an incredibly wasteful way to work. It involves multiple site visits to the same obstruction to record and photograph the same thing two years apart, land searches, letters to landowners all duplicated etc etc. This is time and money which could be spent removing one of the many other Kirklees obstructions.
Why would any publicly funded organisation with clear statutory duties choose to operate in this way?
Our award winning #walkfriendly Council have yet to sort out a fairly straight forward problem reported some three months ago. Infact as Path Watch highlighted recently they’ve made things worse by side stepping both Highways & Environmental protection legislation to allow the burying of fly tipping beneath a public footpath.
The Council’s logic seems to follow a Magnus Magnusson theme “the excavation/burying had started so we thought we’d let them finish” Only the answer seems to be like something off “Just a minute” with the fly tipper/digger person being permitted to continue so long as there is no “repetition, hesitation or deviation”. They’ve being at it for some 6 weeks now with no sign of faltering.
Despite assurances from the Council the path continues to deteriorate and is now buried beneath more loose “soil” which contains more waste. Cattle are now on the land and the whole area is heavily poached. A pipe has thoughtfully been placed beneath the waste and water is running freely from it and no doubt the contents of the waste will leech into this in time.