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Your chance to shape the future of Staffordshire’s rights of way network

Fri 13 Oct 2017

Voluntary sector organisations are being encouraging to help shape the future of the county’s rights of way network through a 10 week consultation. 

Our stunning rural county boasts 4,500km of public footpaths and bridleways, enjoyed by thousands of people every year. Staffordshire County Council is responsible for working with landowners and others to keep these public rights of way open, safe and appealing for people to use and enjoy.

But as the county council’s income reduces but demand for services such as adult social care continues to increase, the county council needs to find savings and new ways of working in everything it does.

The county council is therefore proposing new standards for how they will work with the community to maintain these important community assets into the future. 

These standards centre on the principle of introducing a formal system for how the small in-house team maintains and inspects rights of way, and how it responds to the thousands of reports presented every year.

By introducing a system whereby every right of way is categorised as A, B or C, the county council can focus the majority of its money and activity on the most used and valued paths, whilst continuing to meet its statutory responsibilities across the whole network.

The county council is encouraging organisations and individuals who are passionate about rights of way to take part in the consultation and also help us maintain these important community assets.  

Proposals include:

• how each right of way is categorised - indicating where the county council should focus the majority of its resources, and where local people could get more involved.  We are welcoming any local insight or intelligence that could help to finalise the categorisation system.

• whether a new online system to help people report and monitor issues would be useful. 

• an enhanced volunteer programme - indicating what the priorities for council supported volunteer programmes should be – i.e. what would make the most difference in to their organisation to get more people involved

More detailed information about the proposals, an interactive map showing the proposed path allocations and an online questionnaire is available at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/rightsofwayreview for anyone that wants to have their say. 

Any questions or comments can also be sent to rightsofwayreview@staffordshire.gov.uk