Ramblers battle council cuts
Ramblers in Sussex and Norfolk have warned that cuts to council rights of way budgets will have a devastating impact on the areas. East Sussex County Council plans to save £300k from its countryside and rights of way operations, a cut of 20%, while Norfolk County Council wants to merge part of its rights of way team with the highways department, saving £120k. Local Ramblers in each case claim that, while major promoted routes in their region are unlikely to be affected, other footpaths could suffer neglect.
Sussex Ramblers’ Chris Smith said: “Once you’ve cut right to the bone, nothing happens when volunteers report anything because there are no staff to deal with it.” Norfolk Ramblers claimed that 61 out of 95 footpath complaints received by the council over the past three months were still unresolved.