The saga continues. As I reported back in March, Ipswich Borough Council finally got round to publishing the Order to create a paved footpath for the entire alleyway between Gladstone Road and Foxhall Road. The deadline for objections was 19th April. Or so we thought.
|Dirt track between Gladstone Road and Foxhall Road is still not paved|
It seems the Sir Humphreys down at Grafton House have found another way of extending the “consultation” period even further. The following email was sent to Holywells Conservative Councillor Liz Harsant yesterday from a mandarin down at the Council:
“The legal process required to enable work to be undertaken to surface the alley way in question is underway.
The legal advertisement of the desire of the Council to create a footpath was undertaken in April. The consultation period for this has now closed.
The order of confirmation now needs to be circulated to residents who have access rights over the land and copies placed on-site.
There is a further 6 week period where anyone can question the validity of the order and for residents to claim compensation for depreciation or damage for disturbance associated with making the footpath a public right of way.
Once all the above has been completed, without objection, then the Council will be in a place to programme the surfacing of the alley way.” [my emphasis]
Oh terrific. So after three years since I approved the footpath scheme at my Committee, after the scheme was approved at the Executive committee and after all 48 councillors on Ipswich Borough Council approved the scheme, Sir Humphrey is still stopping the first slab from being laid. The only reason the Order was even advertised in March is because a) Cllr Harsant and myself put pressure on the civil servants at the Borough in writing and in person at a public meeting, and b) because newly elected Councillor Pam Stewart (when she was the Conservative candidate for Holywells ward) also asked Labour’s transport chief Phil Smart what the hold-up was at the Full Council meeting in March.
When Douglas Carswell complains the bureaucrats are really running the Coalition Government, they are obviously learning the dark arts of obfuscation and intransigence from the civil servants in Ipswich.
I am trying to find out the exact date when the next round of consultation finishes to help us best guess when the paving work might actually begin…
UPDATE – 25th May: The next round of consultation should end on 29th June according to the new public notice at either end of the dirt track: