Row over town footpath costs

Norfolk County Council has been accused of squandering more than £100,000 by “needlessly” replacing about a mile of footpath.Town leaders in Watton claim the county is wasting the £113,000 it is spending on work to replace footpaths in the town that began last week.

Norfolk County Council has been accused of squandering more than £100,000 by “needlessly” replacing about a mile of footpath.

Town leaders in Watton claim the county is wasting the £113,000 it is spending on work to replace footpaths in the town that began last week.

They say while puddles and potholes gather on paths around Stokes Avenue and off the High Street the council would rather spend six weeks reconstructing a solid footpath starting in Wayland Avenue.

Mayor of Watton Keith Gilbert regularly uses the path on his rounds as a postman in the town and said people were baffled as to why the work was being carried out.

He said: “There is absolutely nothing wrong with that footpath and they want to waste £113,000 digging it up and relaying it.

“It is part of my round and everyone I have spoken to say 'What a waste of money it would be'.

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“It is a total and utter disgraceful waste of money that does not need doing. I could show them footpaths in a far worse state around town that nothing is being done about. The money is about three quarters of the total town council budget for the year.”

The work is replacing the footpath running through Wayland Avenue, Langmere Road, Ringmere Road, Ringmere Close and Three Post Road.

The council says the work will cause some disruption and says that give and take traffic signs will be in place for the duration but that access will be maintained to properties.

Melanie Willis, county council communications officer for planning and transportation, said: "All highway works are assessed, costed and prioritised by need before being programmed. Work to improve the footways in Wayland Avenue, Langmere Road, Ringmere Road, Ringmere Close and Three Post Road will last for six weeks, for the long-term benefit of local residents."

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