A FLINTSHIRE councillor has attacked Wrexham Borough Council for not following proper procedures when dealing with public footpath diversion orders.
Green Party Cllr Klaus Armstrong-Braun objected to two diversion orders for footpaths near Glyn Ceiriog in September of last year and asked for copies of the orders and the definitive map of public footpaths.
He said: 'I did not give any reasons for my objection as, by law, I don't have to. I received a letter asking for my grounds of objection, but I did not reply as I was not obliged to do so. I heard nothing more until I made an enquiry recently and was told the orders had been confirmed.
'I made a complaint to the National Assembly because this is unlawful, in the hope the orders could be overturned. The Assembly was shocked and horrified at what the council had done, but they said I would have to go to the High Court to over-turn the orders. Unfortunately I don't have the money to be able to do that.
'I think it's appalling and dis-graceful of Wrexham council to behave this way.
'The good citizens elect council-lors to look after their interests, but they have failed to do their duty and make sure the officers are doing their jobs properly.'
The footpaths are located on Church Hill at Pistyll y Garth, just north of Glyn Ceiriog, and it was the landowner who requested the diversions.
Rob Wilkinson, chief transportation and engineering officer, said: 'The effect is to allow the recorded line of the paths to be deleted so the routes that have been in use by the public for many years can become official paths.
'The point at which the paths leave the road has changed only slightly and very little extra distance is involved for path users.'
A spokesperson for Wrexham Council said: 'The order in question was not the subject of any local opposition and when Mr Armstrong-Braun was supplied with a copy of the order and the definitive map of public footpaths he requested, he was asked to state his grounds of objection to the making of the order.
'Nothing was heard from him and it was quite naturally assumed he did not wish to pursue his objection. This was in September last year and the order was confirmed by the council in December. The confirmation was advertised in the press with an objection period expiring on January 28, 2003.
'No objections were forthcoming from either Mr Armstrong-Braun or anyone else and indeed there is no record of any communication from Mr Armstrong-Braun since he originally wrote to the council in September, 2002.'
Cllr Armstrong-Braun said: 'I object to all public footpath diversion orders because they interfere with the discreet continuity of a cultural and historical legacy. Footpaths are visible signs of history and we must preserve and protect them. I shall be objecting to more diversion orders and I shall be watching very carefully to see how they are handled.
'I would also like people to know that if they see anything going on that they are not happy about, they can contact me and I will help them. They can call me anytime on (01244) 538638.'