The PathWatch advice would be to become a quasi legal/Prow specialist and help floundering Councils who don’t have a clue out of deep holes they’ve excavated for themselves.
Kirklees have now fessed up to the expert witness in the Huddersfield Byway 231 case costing some £6,000 and the legal representative an eye watering £14,800 plus VAT of tax payers money. This is on top of the £10,000 budget for employing Leeds City Council as a consultant and the other £14,000 of recorded legal costs incurred by Kirklees. It does not include other costs associated with the public inquiry, Costs of aborted enforcement action, costs of undisclosed legal advice and costs of copious amounts of staff time going back 10 years.
It’s an impressive performance for a local authority with no money.
These figures and the history of how Kirklees have dealt with this issue illuminate how the council operates. In a nutshell. Public rights of way don’t matter and are not important. We therefore make mistakes because we don’t really care. When we get found out we deny this. We spend public money attempting to save face. This makes things worse but it goes on for such a long time people forget or get fed up and stop bothering us. Repeat.
This has happened and continues on the Ramsden Road case which is summarised in Ramsden Road
At the same time the council insists on having it’s cake and eating it by using the “we have no money” excuse for every public path across the district. This of course is a con. They have plenty of money but it hemorrhages on constant comedy cock ups (see above).