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Decision details

Public Rights of Way - Review of Definitive Map Processes and Impact of Imminent Implementation of the Deregulation Act 2015

Decision Maker: Executive

Decision status: Decision Made

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes


Purpose of report: This report presents a review of the council’s definitive map processes, practice and Statement of Priorities following a Local Government Ombudsman finding that the council is at fault in regard to the length of time it takes to determine definitive map modification order applications to add unrecorded public rights of way to the Definitive Map and Statement.

The Executive will be asked to support the findings of the review and authorise the necessary changes to avoid a finding of maladministration against the council.


Resolved:  (i)      That the findings of the Review of the Statement of Priorities be supported and that the revised Statement at Annex 6 be adopted, including the requirement to ensure that any direction from the Secretary of State at Defra (SOS) will be dealt with within either 3 months or 12 months, according to the type of direction received.


                   (ii)      That an amendment to the current scheme of delegation be authorised so that definitive map modification order applications to make changes to the definitive map and statement will be determined by an Assistant Director or more senior officer with responsibility for the Rights of Way team, in consultation with the Executive Member for Transportand affected ward councillors.


                   (iii)     That a report considering the progress of reducing the backlog of definitive map modification order applications be presented to the Executive Member for Transportevery 6 months, with a copy to be sent to the Local Government Ombudsman.


                   (iv)    That an apprentice / trainee role for rights of way be developed, to focus initially on definitive map modification order applications, with the cost of  this - £25,000, to be incorporated as unavoidable growth in the 2020/21 budget process for consideration by Full Council when setting the budget for 2020/21.


                   (v)     That further resources be kept under review to ensure that the council delivers on its new commitment to deal with SOS directions within either 3 months or 12 months according to the type of direction received.


Reasons:   a)      With the aim of eliminating the definitive map modification order backlog in the shortest possible time with the resources available.


                   b)      To reduce the risk of further appeals for non-determination and further complaints to the Local Government Ombudsman.


                   c)      To comply with the findings of the Local Government Ombudsman and prevent a finding of maladministration against the council.


                   d)      To ensure that the statutory escalation process to the Secretary of State results in resolution.


Report author: Alison Newbould

Publication date: 19/07/2019

Date of decision: 18/07/2019

Decided at meeting: 18/07/2019 - Executive

Effective from: 23/07/2019

Accompanying Documents:


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