Agenda item

Public Issues

To receive any public questions, statements or petitions submitted in accordance with the Constitution. Further information on the requirements for submitting these is available to view at the following link:-

https://democracy.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/documents/s2305/Public%20Items%20-%20Meeting%20Procedure%20Rules.pdf 

The deadline for the submission of public questions is Wednesday 4 September 2019.

The deadline for the submission of a statement is 12.00 noon, Tuesday 10 September 2019.

The deadline for the submission of a petition is 12.00 noon, Tuesday 10 September 2019.

Minutes:

The Leader reported that no public questions had been submitted on this occasion, but that the following statements had been submitted in connection with Item 11.5 (James Road to Sheringham Road, record unprotected bridleway (currently blocked) as a Public Right of Way (PRoW) on the agenda:

Statement from Mr B Kelsell

I have lived in Sheringham Road for 35 years with my Wife Margaret and we have never seen anyone use this path all these years, my Three children also grew up at Sheringham Road and also have never seen anyone use this.

Statement from Mr J Mogg

My property is located at the start of the proposed Bridleway. This application is wholly unnecessary and gives no benefit to my family and the vast majority of James Rd residents.

The path is currently private and used for garden access only.  

The creation of a Public Right Of Way would only exacerbate the recent spate of antisocial behaviour and undermine the security and privacy of all residents.

This is not an application for the greater good and I know that the vast majority of residents are against the path being opened up to the public.

Statement from Mrs S Jennings

I strongly object to this proposal

I cannot see how opening up this path would be of any benefit.  In the last couple of years one house (that I know of) in James Road has been burgled and cars in the road have recently been tampered with and broken into.  Opening up an ‘escape route’ would serve no purpose whatsoever.  As it stands at the moment any person not residing in James Road would have to leave via the road and not be able to scoot down an alley.

Towards the end of James Road where this so-called path is, there are families with young children.  In this day and age of drug use etc, would you want the possibility of needles etc being dropped in an area where your children or dogs might walk or the possibility of anyone hanging around the other side of your garden fence whilst your children were playing.  I feel this would be a hideout for drug abuse/alcohol and use as a dumping area.

Another strong objection to this being opened up is I believe it would be used as a ‘rat run’ for scooters and motor bikes.

We have some elderly residents who live in this road and at present with James Road being a dead end there is an element of safety for them, the opening up of this path I believe infringes their safety.

One further point, who is going to maintain this path?  If it will be the Council’s responsibility I cannot see a regular maintenance plan occurring – our road is in dire need of repair and has been in bad repair for some time where no maintenance has occurred!   Therefore I cannot possibly see any upkeep of the path taking place.

I hope the Council take the above points into consideration, together with signatures presented at the meeting and see fit to refuse the application.

Statement from Mr & Mrs Hayward

We have lived at the address for over twenty years with a direct view of the proposed DMMO application route from our garden.  We also had a close relationship with the previous owner of 104 Sheringham Road  who had lived there for over 50 years.

We are incredibly surprised by this application, as far as we or any previous owners where aware, there has never been a public footpath along this route and have not seen anyone use the route detailed.  This application is due to a boundary dispute between neighbours which we have seen first hand and should not be supported.

Petition regarding Item 11.5 on the agenda

The Leader invited Mr Michael Atherton to present a petition of signatures in objection to Item 11.5 on the Cabinet Agenda (James Road to Sheringham Road, record unprotected bridleway (currently blocked) as a Public Right of Way (PRoW).

Thank you for the opportunity to address the cabinet. My name is Michael Atherton and I live at 104 Sheringham Road.

I would like to introduce our petition with reference to item 11.5 – the DMMO application to create a public bridleway between Sheringham Road and James Road.

To give some back ground

The catalyst for this DMMO application is a boundary dispute between myself and my neighbours, and their confusion of what constitutes as a private footpath, therefore this is not a valid DMMO application.

My solicitor and I spent a month preparing a considerable amount of evidence such as photographs, videos statements and a legal submission on this matter which are the grounds of our objection.  The Senior Rights of Way Officer indicated to me that he had made his recommendation without reading any of our evidence. 

The grounds of our objection are:

·       There is insufficient evidence to prove on the balance of probabilities that the general public have been using the proposed path as of right for a full period of 20 yrs without interruption.  This is supported by the mature overgrowth, 7m high oak tree obstructing the route and the many honest neighbor statements, some of whom have lived in the road for 35+years.

·       There is incontrovertible evidence, which shows that a private right of way exists over part of the proposed footpath for the benefit of particular property owners that surround the route listed on the land registry.

·       OS mapping “portrays physical features, but it expresses no opinion on public or private rights” this is a quote from the Definitive Map Orders Consistency Guidelines from the Planning Inspectorate.

·       The alleged route running within the boundary of my property is 0.9m wide and very steep. How anyone could imagine a bridleway along this route is ridiculous.

·       Perhaps if the Senior Rights of Way Officer read our submission and conducted a site visit his recommendation would be different.

·       The Ramblers association did conduct a site visit and create a report, here is the conclusion “In normal circumstances the Ramblers Association would welcome the addition of any right of way to the Definitive Map but it is the circumstances and from what I was able to see on my visit, I don’t see the addition of this path is practical or that its use, if provided, would in my opinion be very light if it was used at all.  I don’t see how it could be used as a bridleway”  

 

The petition has been signed by 54 residents who object to this application and reside within a 200m radius of the proposed route along James Rd and Sheringham Road.  I am confident with more notice than the 10days notice of the cabinet given by Mr Elias that we could have achieved many more.

So to reflect how can this application to protect an alleged public right of way be supported when the “public” who has been supposedly using it, object to it. 

In addition Cabinet were advised that a statement had also been received in relation to Agenda Item 5 (BCP Council Disabled Tax-Exempt Vehicle (DTEV) Parking Permit Policy) on the agenda;

Statement from Mrs S Ward

Cabinet are due to discuss the harmonisation of disabled parking permit fees across the conurbation. Given that disabled people are much more likely to be financially disadvantaged, and given that one area is already not charging a fee at all, the Cabinet should agree today to scrap all fee’s associated with disabled parking permits. Not only has this been shown to be possible, but it is the right thing to do. Please scrap fee’s for disabled parking permits across the BCP area. 

 

In closing Leader advised those present at the meeting that Cabinet had been reviewing the ways in which councillors are engaged in the decisions which come through the Cabinet and Portfolio Holder route to maximise the transparency in decision making.

She advised that one of the issues that all councillors in their ward role are regularly involved in is transportation issues – from disabled parking schemes to footpaths to changes to traffic regulation. To ensure that the Portfolio Holder gets the input and views of councillors and the public a group would be established to consider such issues with the Portfolio Holder and input into the recommendations he brings forward to Cabinet. This will have some similarities with the Transportation Advisory Group that operated within the former Borough of Poole which was considered useful by the Portfolio Holders, back bench councillors and officers.

 

The Leader further advised that it was proposed to arrange regular monthly engagement sessions with all councillors invited and this would enable external bodies and businesses who wish to put forward proposals and ideas to the members of the Council and seek feedback, or who wish to make presentations on major projects.

The Leader advised that the terms of reference for these groups was being prepared and all councillors would be updated shortly.

The Leader advised that the intention of each of the groups was to support Cabinet members in their decision making, feeding back to Cabinet and were not decision making bodies, rather to assist with engagement, and did not require therefore a formal change to the Constitution.