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0 votes
I have recently been asked to construct a plan for public tights of way maintenance work.  (HA1980 S43 and 50).   I understand these powers  limit the PC to effectively clearing ground level vegetation .   The clerk advises that for each item I must firstly advise the landowner and  Highways authority of any  proposed work .  I must then get any volunteer to sign up with the PCs volunteer scheme and  complete a risk assessment form which has to be countersigned by the clerk before proceeding .   I recall sometime ago that it was possible for routine acts like cutting brambles with secateurs or digging a hole for a guide post to produce task specific "method statements" in lieu of a risk assessments . Does anybody use these?   Can others advise how they deal with this important  issue as to me all the proposed paperwork is a recipe to do nothing.
by (5.0k points)

2 Answers

0 votes
With respect, you need to listen to your clerk.
by (10.4k points)
Have to agree that the Clerk is spot on.  However, as part of an overall risk assessment, we do have task specific method statements which set out how a task should be completed.  So for example, the one for using a strimmer includes things like wearing goggles, not strimming if a member of the public approaches or walks by, etc.  I agree, the paperwork is a nightmare these days but if anything happens and you haven't followed the advice ...........
Section 137 of HA 1980 provides for a right  for any individual to remove as much of an obstruction as it is necessary for them to pass.  An obstruction can be anything that prevents free passage along the Highway.  Users of PROWs are entitled to the full width of the Highway.  Most maintenance would relate to clearing overgrown vegetation .  Now if that had to go through the full process it could easily take a couple of weeks to get approval .   What I am asking is "is a method statement" an adequate substitute for a risk assessment? If so this would drastically shorten the time between the reporting of a problem to the solution
Your clerk will know the answer to that + he/she will also know the local rules and regulations.
Some clerks say "its my way or no way".  I am just seeking to understand how other Councils operate
0 votes
It sounds like your PC is undertaking a local maintenance arrangement on behalf of the LA.
Go to LA webpage and look up LEMP / LMP details (it might be called something slightly different but likely similar in your area)

The specific details of what the PC and LA (HA) agree to do, who may do it, what conditions apply should be set out by LA.
That’ll be a good starting point.
Your assessment of a recipe to do nothing is, in my opinion, unfortunately common and exceptionally unhelpful / unnecessary.
Is it your intention for volunteers to do the work or for it to be passed to a contractor?
by (21.9k points)
The attitude of  Highways Authorities to volunteers varies.  Some welcome them with open arms  . Others wont touch them with a barge pole .   As such I am seeking to rely on establishing a policy under our own PC powers.    Any problem which requires immediate/prompt  action but mandates a lengthy paper based authorisation process will simply put off volunteers

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