Ascot advisor calls trail pilot “Maidenhead-centric”
A RURAL advisor accused a pilot who improves trails to be âdisabled friendlyâ of being âMaidenhead-centricâ.
Volunteers from the âwalk for allâ working group gave members of the local access forum on Thursday, December 2 an update on investigative work on six trails that could be improved to be more accessible to people. disabled people and cyclists.
These identified routes include Battlemead Common, The Green Way, Ockwell’s Park and Thrift Wood, Cock Marsh to Cookham, Thames to Boulter’s and Thames to Old Windsor.
The six zones are part of a pilot project where the next step is to have the Royal Borough Council help find external support to plot routes and publish all investigative work on the website of the RBWM Together.
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But Ascot and Sunninghill councilor Julian Sharpe said residents outside Maidenhead “would not benefit” from this, citing that the program was supposed to be a district-wide initiative.
Cllr Sharpe also said the forum needs to be “more inclusive” and that parish councils in rural areas outside of town would show “little interest” if presented only with Maidenhead projects.
He said: âIt doesn’t sound like a committee or a group that deals with issues across the borough. It sounds a lot like a Maidenhead centric thing and again, it’s been shown with it. ”
Working group member Steven Gillions reiterated that they are starting small as it is a pilot project and could be extended to other parts of the borough if deemed successful.
Forum chairman, Hurley Parish Councilor Geoff Priest, said Cllr Sharpe “missed the mark” of the project, adding that the North Borough of the Parish Council had expressed interest in the project, unlike those from South.
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Meanwhile, Vice President Lisa Hughes, who is also on the task force, said: âI can only live where I live, City Councilor. I am a disabled person with volunteer work in other areas so I do not have the ability to drive around Sunninghill, Sunningdale, Runneymede, Datchet looking for trails.
âWe rely on the information given to us. I don’t really understand how you think we’re going to be able to get that knowledge and that’s why we have a forum where people contribute ideas and some of us volunteer to get things done.
“I really feel very personally attacked here.”