Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Field Study's man is shedding tears in E17

10th Jan. The Drive towards

The London Borough of Waltham Forests online information about it's public rights of way can be accessed at the following address.
The information on this page was last updated in October 2009. Perhaps there is some delay in updating the online information about the progress made in revising a 1953 map of the public rights of way, and we do in fact have a law abiding borough council. This map predates the formation of the borough in 1965.
The documents presented (most of them dated Sept' 2008) state quite clearly LBWF is not meeting its statutory duty. This is nearly 3 years on from Freewheelers' posts regarding this issue.
There is a substantial collection of PDFs to read, detailing how the council intends to resolve the problem of the definitive map and statement, and related initiatives, within 5 years. The clock has ticked well over 2 of those years off with little to show. If I understand correctly, in 2008 funds were available to appoint a part time public rights of way officer. I do not see any contact details for such a person on the web page though this is not to say that person does not exist.
I laughed at the item recording an 'implementation' which involved the (1953) definitive map and statement being given a relevant date of 18th April 2008 - 'and has been published'. Does this mean the 1953 map has (just) been re-dated?
I shed tears of laughter when I read,
'Core Action A2' - implementation - the blank definitive map and statement for the previously excluded area has been given a relevant date of 18th April and has been published.
The 1st of April, surely. I was in the library so had to restrain myself for fear of causing an Alice in Wonderland (or is it, Through the Looking Glass?) like flood or pool of tears at this definitive map of nowhere. Could we be living in a Kafkaesque limbo?
I wonder if the 'existing employee' when offered the post of 'rights of way officer' walked, ran or (more likely) drove a mile at the prospect of such a labyrinth of bureaucratic nonsense?
The aphorism, the map is not the territory, may apply to this situation. That there might not be an up to date map of the public rights of way in Waltham Forest may, on a everyday level, not affect those who choose to walk (and cycle) the highways and byways, however this inadequacy is not solely a cartographic issue.

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