Footpath disgrace makes pensioners feel ‘trapped’

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Fed-up pensioners are feeling “trapped” in their own homes for fear of tripping on overgrown weeds and hurting themselves.

One elderly resident has already fallen over, when the wheels of her walking frame got stuck in the weeds growing on a neglected footpath outside her bungalow in Glebe Close, Northwold, last week.

David Wheatley, who lives around the corner from the residents, has been complaining on the pensioners’ behalfs for more than six weeks – and is as angry with the response from authorities as he is with the state of the footpath.

Freebridge Community Housing, which manages the residents’ homes, told him it was West Norfolk Council’s responsibility to tidy it up and maintain the footpath, but the council said it was down to Freebridge.

Mr Wheatley said: “They are just passing the buck. No-body seems to want to know or do anything about it.

“One resident’s little grandson fell off his bike when it got trapped in the weeds and a lady fell over when her frame got caught. It’s a complete shambles.”

Mr Wheatley first complained about the state of the footpath, which leads from residents’ bungalows to Glebe Close, on June 1.

“The situation has been going on for weeks. I’ve even been away on holiday and back again and nothing has been done,” he said.

“If I didn’t pay my taxes, I’d soon have a letter demanding I pay up. But we all pay our taxes and what do we get for it?”

Freebridge Community Housing officials yesterday told the Lynn News that they had been assured by West Norfolk Council that the path was not their responsibility.

A spokesman for West Norfolk Council said: “We were contacted on July 3 about this area and having looked into the matter we can confirm that it is our responsibility to maintain and was not transferred with the housing to Freebridge Community Housing.

“Having checked our records, it appears that the area was omitted from our regular maintenance schedule – an oversight on our behalf for which we can only apologise.

“This has now been rectified and the area has been added into the schedule. We will also be attending the site today to strim and spray the overgrown area.

“We would like to apologise for any inconvenience this oversight has caused.”