Hazardous steps will be re­placed

Coun­cil agrees to cover £1,100 cost

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Jo-Anne Rowney jo-anne.rowney@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

‘DAN­GER­OUS’ steps at a na­ture re­serve will be re­placed after £1,100 was stumped up for the project.

Holt­spur Bank Na­ture Re­serve is run by Bea­cons­field Town Coun­cil, but over­seen by a com­mit­tee of which coun­cil­lor Ken Brown is a mem­ber.

Mr Brown said steps lead­ing peo­ple from a park­ing area to the re­serve and wood­land had de­te­ri­o­rated and were now dan­ger­ous.

He made a plea for cash, say­ing if there was an ac­ci­dent it would be the coun­cil’s fault if it did not pro­vide fund­ing.

Coun­cil­lors said they had stopped giv­ing money to the re­serve a few years ago.

It used to pay £1,000 an­nu­ally and de­bate an ad­di­tional £500.

The coun­cil agreed to a one-off pay­ment of £1,100 to re­place the steps with wooden sleep­ers.

The re­serve gets money from Defra but it can­not be used for main­te­nance projects.

Mr Brown said: “The steps have to be re­placed, peo­ple use them as the main ac­cess to the re­serve.

“We have man­aged to get a re­duc­tion in the price but we do need the new steps and sleep­ers.

If there is an ac­ci­dent

the town coun­cil will be

re­spon­si­ble”

“We’ve been told the re­place­ment sleep­ers will last beyond our lifetime.”

The coun­cil­lors were hes­i­tant to spend the money, prompt­ing Mr Brown to ar­gue it was the coun­cil’s re­spon­si­bil­ity.

He said: “If there is an ac­ci­dent the town coun­cil will be re­spon­si­ble.”

The re­serve has £1,700 left in its ac­count from Defra, but Mr Brown said that can­not be used as it has to be used for schemes to im­prove the area over the next few years.

Mr Brown added: “The money is be­ing used as part of the 10-year plan for the na­ture re­serve.”

The coun­cil asked for more in­for­ma­tion about the type of sleep­ers and steps that will be put in, but agreed to find the money.

Con­trib­uted

KIND­HEARTED: Sofia Ro­queta, Char­lotte Gow­ers, Michael Har­g­reaves, Sophie Soin and Rosie Fricker at Malt­man’s Green School

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