Saturday, 9 September 2017

Bedford Borough Council - Wasting Time

Wilden Footpath No. 6 - obstructed through gardens
(Click image to enlarge it)
Part of Wilden Footpath No. 6 cannot be used because it is obstructed through gardens as it has been for years. See HERE.
September 2016: Bedford Borough Council consults on a proposal to divert the path. See the consultation plan HERE
I reply by return: “The Open Spaces Society is very pleased to see your proposal and wholeheartedly supports it.” Other consultees including Wilden Parish Council, I know, are just as pleased.
October 2016: Consultation period ends.
When consultations are complete the procedure for the case officer is to compile, submit and publish a report recommending that orders should be made or not. A week after publication, another council officer approves or refuses the recommendation. If approved the way is clear to make orders which shouldn’t really take more than a couple of weeks.
January 2017: I write to ask about what I consider to be the inordinate delay.
The terse reply (in my own words) – "we only have a small team and we are busy doing other things as well. The two orders are being drafted,"
[An hour or so with a cuppa? A morning with more than one cuppa - max!]
"a decision to make the orders is expected within the next 6 weeks and orders made by the end of May."
[Whole morning writing a report? Cuppa? Ten minutes to read and approve it.]
May 2017. No report. No orders. No proper explanation or apology.
July 2017. I request information to be told that a report will be published within 4 weeks and the orders made by 25 August.
September 2017: End of year one. No report. No orders. No proper explanation (other than to say, after I contact the council, that they will get back to me in two weeks), No apology, and no footpath of course. I lodge an official complaint and wait.
It has to be done but I suspect that I am wasting my time just like the Borough Council is wasting it.