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Public right of ways - extra cut at Parish Expense

0 votes
Good afternoon

We have numerous Prow in our village.   Suffolk County Council are responsible for cutting them. They undertake two cuts per year - no cost to the Parish
We have been approached by one resident who would like the Parish Council to pay for a third cut - out of our precept.  It clearly could not undertaken this year as our precept is tight and we do not have a budget for this.  I am reluctant to take money from our reserves.
The cost is a little shy of £1000.   Ore precept being £84k    No other resident has bought this to attention.

To be honest, I am not keen as it sets a precedent for other issues to be taken on by the Parish when County Councils are responsible    We of course would need to increase our precept next year to cover this cost
Views please
by (1.2k points)

2 Answers

0 votes
At last a subject I know something about . PCs  have powers under the HA 1980 to maintain their own paths. In my experience however District Councils say "look we have the statutory duty to maintain PROWs and if we allow you to do it, then everything has to be done to our specification". I can remember once the DC wanted nearly £300  for me to be trained to use a brush cutter and get a CPC. So first port of call would be the DC and see what their attitude is  (they vary). Then if you use volunteers well they have to be insured, do risk assessments etc etc. Personally I think you are extremely fortunate to get two cuts a year. Some of ours have never been maintained . But yes you have the optional power (if you don't have GPC)
by (2.0k points)
Many thanks for your comments
0 votes
Our County Council has a volunteering scheme under which residents are trained and insured to maintain public rights of way. This is in addition to the work the CC carries out. This enables us to focus our efforts on maintaining the paths people use at no cost to the council.

We have a similar scheme for gritting pavements and footpaths in the winter.
by (35.2k points)
As a matter of obligation it is of course for the council to decide whether they wish to burden themselves with such a task including any future extra obligations that may carry ( ie change of legislation as we are now all going "green").
A cheap and caring way is for the council to make use of their powers to remind land owners of their obligation to keep PROW open and accessible where they cross their land. This is the same obligation to remind landowners there their hedgerows etc are causing a public problem with the reminder that the county council can ( after sufficient notice) carry out the work and contra-charge the cost to the land owner.
As an aside. we're also starting a scheme to take control of our roadside verge maintenance. The County Council will give us the money they currently pay to their contractor and a license to carry out our own works. Their current schedule prevents wildflowers, as they're cut as they come into bloom and before setting seed. We will be able to work with residents, landowners, volunteer groups, and commercial contractors to agree a specification for each individual section of verge, and to vary that from year to year.
Landowners have no obligation to keep PROW surfaces open or maintained , Their only responsibilities relate to overhanging vegetation . Surface vegetation falls to the HA. Landowners also have responsibilities regarding any footpath furniture they own.  I absolutely agree that HAs should embrace any help offered but many see volunteers as more trouble than they are worth
thanks for your comments Dave
thanks for your comments

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