Report of the Deputy Chief Executive (Place)
To consider the above petition, bearing 89 signatures, which has been submitted by Councillor P Male, a Woodlands Ward Councillor, who has been invited to the meeting for the consideration of this item along with the petition organiser.
The Cabinet Member for Policing and Equalities considered a report of the Deputy Chief Executive (Place) which responded to a petition requesting that the City Council improve the footpath that runs adjacent to the Brookstray in Mount Nod.
A petition bearing 89 signatures had been submitted by Councillor Male, a Woodlands Ward Councillor, who attended the meeting and spoke on behalf of petitioners. The petition read:
“I am raising this petition following contact from a number of residents who live in Woodlands Ward who use the Brookstray footpath on a regular basis. Elderly residents have reported difficulty walking on the uneven surface, parents with pushchair’s have also highlighted difficulty and sadly on one occasion a wheelchair user fell out of their chair. The Brookstray footpath is a well-used community resource and I want Mount Nod residents to be able to continue to access the area safely.”
The report indicated that the footpath concerned is a hard-surfaced path on land managed and maintained by the Council’s Streetscene and Greenspace Service and runs adjacent to the Guphill Brook. The footpath is not a registered right of way. The footpath is largely composed of old macadam, which is deteriorating in places. The cross-fall of some existing sections of the path is irregular and the path has several raised areas and ruts due to the effect of tree roots, periodic flooding and general erosion.
Reductions in the budgets allocated to the management and maintenance of the city’s parks and open spaces has increased the importance of prioritising proposed works against competing demands. This has included budgets set aside for the replacement and repair of greenspace infrastructure where demand far exceeds the budget available.
Over the past three years, the Parks Service has identified and repaired 216 square meters of the footpath where particularly severe issued were identified. These repairs were made with compacted road planings at a cost of £6,500. The estimated cost to repair the equivalent area in Tarmac would have been around £18,000. The main section of the footpath measures approximately 1,435 square meters from the pedestrian underpass beneath the A45 to its junction with Alderminster Road, excluding side paths. The cost to break out the existing surface of the path and relay it in Tarmac to a standard suitable for occasional light vehicle use would be approximately £119,000. If the same length and width of path were to be resurfaced in Tarmac but only suitable for pedestrians it would cost approximately £100,000. Relaying the path in self-binding gravel would cost in excess of £86,000. The report indicated that none of these costs could be met from existing resources.
RESOLVED that, the Cabinet Member for Policing and Equalities:
1. Considers the content of the petition and notes the petitioners concerns.
2. Notes that budgetary reduction has increased the emphasis on the Parks Service to prioritise proposed works against competing demands and that annual demand for such works far exceeds the budget available.
3. Notes that the cost of entirely resurfacing the footpath surface area would be beyond the Council’s Parks Service budget.
4. Agrees that the Park service will continue to inspect and undertake repairs to maintain the path in a safe and usable condition and where necessary, ensure the paths are levelled when repairs are carried out.
5. Agrees that a prioritised programme of resurfacing will be undertaken on a phased basis over a number of years subject to available funding.