Without exception each local authority in West Yorkshire has cut rights of way budgets and staffing levels. Most of these councils did this early on as rights of way are undervalued and seen as an easy target by dim witted councillors and careerist managers.
The excuse that “we’re skint” and therefore off the hook about maintaining rights of way properly is now the default position of the West Yorkshire councils. The second string to this bow is “don’t bother us and fix it yourself” by forming a “friends of everything the council used to do group.”
This position is of course complete twaddle and will inevitably end up costing councils much more in the long run as the rights of way asset deteriorates and inevitably becomes much more expensive to put right.
These same councils continue to work in the archaic fashion of some 1950’s corporation with outdated procedures, management structures and attitudes which waste millions. No one will make a decision about anything let alone take a proactive approach or god forbid do something differently to how it’s been done for the past 60 years.
This revealing article in the Yorkshire Post shows how our glorious leaders really behave and how they spend our money. Whilst they may be no money for public rights of way there is no problem finding £750,000 for “networking events” in the South of France or a £100,000 for “executive coaching”.
But if you want a public footpath strimming, a sign fixing or an obstruction removing so that you and others can enjoy a public amenity you know what the answer is. “Feck off and do it yourself”.