Issue - meetings
Draft Rights of Way Improvement Plan 2018-2028 (RoWIP
- Enc. 1 for Draft Rights of Way Improvement Plan 2018-2028 (RoWIP, item 29 PDF 2 MB
- Enc. 2 for Draft Rights of Way Improvement Plan 2018-2028 (RoWIP, item 29 PDF 513 KB
(a) That the draft Rights of Way Improvement Plan and policy and procedures booklet as part of the three month statutory consultation, be supported; and
(b) That a further report be submitted to the Committee in March 2019.
The Chief Officer (Planning, Environment and Economy) introduced the report on the new Rights of Way Improvement Plan 2018-2028 as part of the 3 month statutory consultation. He provided background information and advised that this second ROWIP assessed the 2018 network and evaluates progress made since 2008. The current (2018) policy context is examined, priority areas identified and a new style Statement of Action put forward. The Chief Officer invited the Access and Natural Environment Manager to present the report.
The Access and Natural Environment Manager explained that the first ROWIP had identified a number of areas as being key priorities for 2008-2018. Of the 22 tasks identified 7 had been completed, or substantial progress made, while a further 7 had made little or no progress and 8 had made partial progress. However, record of data had been found to be inconsistent and sometimes lacking causing difficulty in identifying progress in some areas.
The Access and Natural Environment Manager reported on the main considerations, as detailed in the report. He advised that a Policy and Procedure booklet had already been developed as a priority. The policies and procedures would form the basis of a booklet to be made available to users of the Public Rights of Way network and to landowners in order that there is widespread understanding and transparency about what Flintshire County Council does and how it does it.
Councillor Paul Shotton referred to the 1800 individual public paths which made up the public rights of way network in 2018 and commented on the volume of work in managing and maintaining the network and the importance of volunteers in providing assistance in that task. He suggested there could be a greater role for volunteers going forward. The Access and Natural Environment Manager acknowledged the important role undertaken by volunteers in assisting rangers and also referred to local groups which undertook voluntary work to assist the countryside service. In response to the comments made by Councillor Shotton regarding signposting the Access and Natural Environment Manager explained that further progress had been made and work was ongoing, in response to a further question from Councillor Shotton he explained that consultation on the draft Rights of Way Improvement Plan would end in January 2019.
Councillor Chris Dolphin referred to page 56 of the report and the issue around the difficulty experienced by people in electric wheelchairs in gaining access along the Wales Coast Path due to barriers. He asked how this problem was being addressed and spoke of the importance of retaining barriers and in certain areas to problems experienced in the past. The Access and Natural Environment Manager explained that the Authority’s position was legal but was reviewing its position in terms of the barriers and was looking to undertake wider consultation on this matter in the New Year. Councillor Carolyn Thomas spoke of the need for equal access for all to the Wales Coast Path.
Councillor David Evans asked for an update on the Local Access Forum. The Access ... view the full minutes text for item 29