Sunday 19th Well, as the Little Ditty might suggest, everyone seems to be living at the ‘whim’ of County Councils. It is thought provoking that those ‘claiming’ that they have a right over private property are the ones vested with the power to take just as long as they like to actually claim that right, even when the evidence suggests that the right has never existed in the first place.
It is a sobering thought that the paraphernalia associated with courts,tribunals,enquiries evidence and investigation seem to suggest, at least in the mind of the general public that ‘victims’ of a claim on their property have done something wrong. They are guilty, without ‘trial’ of blocking a path or padlocking their own garden gate. Councils can take as long as they wish to even initiate proceedings, leaving the home owner in complete limbo for years. “Justice delayed is Justice denied”.
Monday 20th A comment from another ‘victim’ “Every time I think about doing some “updating” in the house I am stopped because I think I may need my money for the Court……” which reminds me “wasn’t it Monday that James (NCC Legal) had promised to get back to my advisor?” Needless to say this does not materialise!
Tuesday 21st From Halsbury’s Laws of England “An Occupation Road is a way where the right to use it is limited to Occupiers of land and premises served by the land”.
Those who appear to think that historic use of anyone’s land for those purposes makes that land, one hundred years later, a Public Footpath need to revise their assumptions.
Wednesday 22nd How the mistakes of the past are repeated.Around 1930 a ‘Handover’ Map was drawn up. Lots of people made lots of lists to decide the status of the existing road network. We don’t know who made many of the lists.They were internal documents and contained crossings out, mistakes and assumptions.The Handover Map is used today in evidence to try and prove the existence of a public road.
The analogy can be drawn today! I only have to think of the current ‘maps’ Norfolk County Council have drawn for my track (A Fictional road which has never existed, marked on a ‘map’ ,with measurements just plucked out of a Council workers head!)…..Information and ‘map’ available on their public interactive map currently showing a ‘highway maintained by NCC’!!!!!!
What will they do with those in the future?…..is someone going to ‘find’ them all again in 100years time and claim they have ‘found’ proof of a road!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thursday 23rd An answer from James. Unfortunately not a very well researched one!
- “Here we have a route that is on the list of streets since at least 2002 and thereby before the commencement date of 2 May 2006 that applies to section 67, meaning the route is exempt from section 67(1). The route’s length is supported by the schedule of roads.”
- The Council’s Constitution adheres to the Functions and Responsibilities (England) Regulations 2000. These Regulations indeed exclude certain functions of the WCA 1981 from being the responsibility of the executive of a local authority i.e. duty to keep the definitive map and statement under review, power to include modifications in other orders, duty to keep register of prescribed information with respect to applications under section 53(5) of the WCA 1981, power to prepare map and statement by way of consolidation of definitive map and statement and power to make limestone pavement order. The Council’s Constitution is available on the internet to download. Article 7 sets out the arrangements for the discharge of executive functions and Appendix 5 sets out the scheme of delegated powers to officers. As can be seen, the above functions referred to by the Regulations 2000 are not set out by the Council as executive functions but rather all but the last one are listed as functions of the Chief Legal Officer i.e. (5) to (8) of that officer’s listed functions.
- You refer to the decision in O’Keefe, I presume that being O’Keefe v Secretary of State for the Environment, as legal authority for a surveying authority having a duty to allow a landowner to address the decision maker. If by that you mean the decision is invalid because it was not made by committee (a point I note you make in your previous paragraph) then whilst there are principles set out in O’Keefe, a duty that a modification order be decided by committee, is not one of those principles.
“…the matter must still be ‘decided’ properly, and with a proper appreciation and weighing of the available evidence and any legal principle which may have to be applied, since both the facts and the law bear upon the question…..
……….whether or NOT a right of way can be shown to subsist or be reasonably alleged to subsist.”
So NOT a forgone conclusion then, as per The interactive map and information to the general public!
1. List if Streets.You should note that your information is wrong. The Order Route was not on the LoS in 2002. It was added in August 2016. See mail appended below. The length of Pockthorpe Lane upto End Cottage was, but not beyond. Your team added it after finding Waylands notes. The Order route was not on NCCs LoS on the required date. The Order can not be confirmed.
2. Functions.The Chief Legal Officer is, as listed, a member of the executive. It matters not a jot what your constitution says he can do if Regulations says he or she can’t. The matter should have gone to elected members but it didn’t. It’s a void Order.
3. O’Keefe.The purpose of introducing O’keefe was to show that procedures were not (and are still not) bring followed. As the Order is now made it is too late to challenge via JR on that point but it serves to show errors on the councils part.
Notwithstanding any if the above, in the absence of any procedures relating to dedication, acceptance, creation, adoption or maintenance the Order is fundamentally flawed.
Friday 24th So we await yet another ‘answer’ from NCC…….meanwhile……..zzzzzzzzzz……or thinking time…..
The County Council wrote an interesting ‘small’ word on their Modification Order. So small I doubt anyone, except me, noticed it. On seventy other modification orders they wrote that the effect of an order confirmation would be ‘TO ADD’. On Pockthorpe Lane they wrote ‘TO REGISTER’ ( thus giving the impression that a BOAT already existed and just ‘had to be registered’.
That one small word ‘register’ ……..along with the interactive map and statement by NCC that they currently maintain a ‘soft road’……leads ALL the access groups, my own Parish Council and the general public to assume that their ‘rights’ are already established and just have to be ‘registered’. It leads them to view my objection as ‘vexatious’ thereby causing irate and irritated neighbours, uninformed Parish Councils, angry Access groups plus all the hassle, stress, depreciation of property value and inability to move from an area, that goes along with merely objecting to a Byway Open To All Traffic going through the middle of your garden!
It is the same underhand tactics councils use when putting up Public Rights of Way signs over fields, KNOWING nothing is on the definitive map, failing to investigate further and deliberately letting the public assume rights they do NOT have ……….hoping landowners are ignorant enough or frightened enough for it to go unchallenged.
It is a ‘tactic’ which runs right through the PROW system operated by County Councils.
It makes me see red.
Saturday 25th A break for the bank holiday. I wonder what delights are in store for next week !