Partnership opens footpaths in Downham Market
Public footpaths in Downham have been cleared ahead of the spring season thanks to what officials have called a “successful partnership approach”.
Downham Town Council was approached by Tony White, who represents Downham on Norfolk County Council, who expressed his wish to help open up and restore many of the town’s rural byways.
A spokesman for the town council said Mr White sought their support for his wish to spend his 2017/2018 Local Member Fund for Highways Projects allowance to do this.
Contractor Norfolk Tractors Ltd of Stoke Ferry assisted by another contractor SRH Garden Services of Denver, cleared five of the most popular routes throughout Downham.
The town council spokesman said the work was scheduled to prevent unnecessary disturbance to nesting birds and in advance of spring.
Mr White said: “I am delighted to see the final result. Whilst campaigning during the 2017 county council elections the most important single local issue to residents were the state of the town’s rural byways which in some cases were becoming almost impassable.
“It was important to me that my Local Member Fund for Highways Projects public monies allowance was spent on something that met and made a difference to the electorate’s concerns.
“This work reverses many years of a lack of maintenance and, amongst other things, I look forward to are the health benefits this brings to the community of opening up the footpaths, as well as offering transport alternatives to use of the car.”
Town councillor John Fox, chairman of the authority’s planning and environmental committee, said: “The town council is very appreciative that Mr White chose to use his allowance on this project.
“The town council has raised the matter of the deteriorating condition of the public rights of way throughout the town on many occasions but perhaps understandably in these times of austerity, funding the works was always an issue.
“This is an excellent use of the money as I have personally witnessed how well used the footpaths are by our community on each and every site visit throughout the duration of the works.”
The work was centred around Cock Drove, Short Drove, Rouses Lane, the Howdale, and Nightingale Lane.