As a keen horse-rider and walker I am acutely aware of the value and importance of our Public Rights of Way, and I am a great believer in the physical and mental benefits to be gained from being out in the countryside. Our PROW are crucial in enabling this access. PRoW are under increasing threat from many different directions, including housing and other developments, but planning for new developments could be a great opportunity to expand the PRoW network rather than erase it. Finance for capital works and maintenance of PRoW is constantly being squeezed; on the Essex LAF we can help to raise the profile of PRoW and try and mitigate the effects of reducing budgets.
My working life has been in local government in Essex at county, district and town council levels, and I still work for a small parish council, which is helpful in understanding how councils operate in respect of PRoW issues.