The British Horse Society (BHS) is protesting after a leading rights of way officer in Essex was made redundant by the council.
Rights of way officer Katy Haines has opened more than 40 bridleways but was two weeks ago handed a redundancy notice by Essex County Council. The BHS is fighting to get her reinstated.
Over the past 18 years Katy has provided safe off-road routes for riders in Essex – the county with the highest horse/traffic related accident rate in Britain.
“Katy has another nine bridleway route projects in hand, and we fear that these will be lost if she is made redundant,” said Dr Phil Wadey, BHS regional access and bridleways officer for the East of England. “The council has ensured us she has done nothing wrong – it is just a question of money. But as she is so good at creating bridleways, perhaps she is not the best person to let go.”
Katie has been given three months’ notice but Essex County Council will be discussing the matter in a meeting on 4 April. The BHS is urging riders to write letters of protest to Essex County Council.
“We are astonished the council is doing this and call on everyone who has benefited from Katy’s work, or who would like to benefit from future path creations, to write to their County Councillor to ask that this decision be reversed,” said Dr Wadey.
If you live in Essex write to your County Councillor at Essex Country Council, County Hall, Chelmsford, Essex or for all other counties Lord Hanningfield, Leader of the County Council, County Hall, Chelmsford, Essex.