Says Naomi Smith
It is all too possible to round a corner on horseback and come upon a group of cattle with no prior warning -this WILL result in a horse being badly spooked at best, bolting at worst -it is only a matter of time ........... read more
Leith Hill, Surrey
Bob Milton writes to Surrey County Council
"I would once again state that I do not believe that any council Employee is independent or of sufficient technical expertise to investigate this complaint and suggest that the Council does as is its policy appoint an independent investigator such as an inspector from the planning inspectorate."
Says Bob Milton
Thank you for your email below setting out the Councils position.
I would once again state that I do not believe that any council Employee is independent or of sufficient technical expertise to investigate this complaint and suggest that the Council does as is its policy appoint an independent investigator such as an inspector from the planning inspectorate.
As for the Local Authority Ombudsman they have advised that a complaint such as this is outside their remit so it is pointless you advising that the complaint can be escalated to them though the issue as to who constitutes an independent investigator could be. It is important that both parties agree on who is to be the independent complaints investigator and that such investigations are transparent and not open to abuse. I look forward therefore to hearing if you have reconsidered your position.
As to the request that the landowners keep the event course closed that is welcome but does show what a complete lack of understanding the Council has of the legalities and ramifications of an Access Agreement under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949. It is the prerogative and duty of the Council as Scheme managers to act only under the agreement with respect to public access which excludes vehicles of any sort ie cycles. If the landowner has indeed granted permission, and we have yet to see any documentary evidence to that effect, for a private mountain bike event course to be constructed on the common then this would require that the area be taken out of the common and the Access Agreement. It could also be granted/dedicated as an easement to the public at large [ie a highway] or to specific named individuals.
It is important that all internal procedures are completed before any approach to the courts is considered and therefore I ask you to reconsider the Councils position as to what constitutes an independent investigator and to address the complaints in an open informed and transparent manner.
Says Linda Wright
We moved to a Shropshire location a year ago having surveyed the local OS map and noted the significant number of bridleways around the property. Sadly the map appears a total fiction. Scarce any of the bridleways are usable ........... read more