Lib Dems step up where Council has let down

18 Oct 2023

A local resident of North Park Avenue recently got in touch about the overgrown vegetation on the footpath opposite the Eaton Park Pitch and Putt site. She felt it had become a safety hazard as elderly residents could easily trip or slip on the weeds. Initially we reported the overgrown vegetation on the footpath to both councils - the city and county, and followed up with 2 further reports.

The state of some of the pathway overgrowth by September 2023

Each time we received responses that passed the buck of responsibility off of themselves and onto somebody else. It was becoming a game of pass-the-parcel between the city council, the county council, and private contractors, in which nobody was taking any action and residents were left in limbo. So we decided to sort it ourselves.

University Ward Spokesperson James Hawketts getting stuck into weeding and path cleanup on North Park Avenue.

Local Lib Dems, accompanied by some spirited local residents, spent several hours spread over a few weeks cleaning up the neglected pathway and showing the councils just how much of a difference a little TLC can do to the local area, and how important it is to take good care of your responsibilities to residents. It was clear the area hadn’t been maintained in years.

Before the work
And after it

While we were happy to help, and it was good for community spirit, long-term this is not a viable solution. The city and county council must stop bickering amongst themselves and set out a convincing plan for how they intend to maintain their properties, rather than just passing the buck and hoping nobody notices whatever falls through the cracks. There are similar stories across the University Ward and Norwich as a whole.

Lib Dem city councillor Judith Lubbock said:

It is so frustrating for residents and councillors to have this unhelpful response between the councils. It took some time to even confirm that this footpath should be maintained by the county council. We remain concerned that many footpaths are not being maintained to be weed free or to a safe standard.

Cllr Judith Lubbock, Lib Dem City Councillor for Eaton

If you know of any areas in desperate need of attention, you can try reporting it yourself to the county council by phone or on their website under “roads & footpaths”, but please do also let us know about it.

At the local elections in May 2024, vote for a team who cares about their area and gets stuck in to help address its problems. Not the same Labour councillors who've been complacent and ambivalent to the state of decay locally for years.