§ SIR WALTER FOSTER
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board, whether the parish of Poulton, in the district of Fylde, Lancashire, has been surcharged as regards expenditure in repairing stiles in connection with a parish footpath; and whether there was any appeal in this case to the Local Government Board; and, if so, whether the case is an exceptional one, or to be taken as an illustration, a policy to disallow similar expenditure by parish councils even for stiles necessary to maintain footpaths in a condition for convenient use by the public.
§ MR. T. W. RUSSELL
In the case to which I presume the hon. Member refers, the auditor disallowed in the accounts of the parish council the cost of ten wicket-gates placed, upon public footpaths. The Local Government Board, on appeal, held that under the circumstances of the case the auditor was not shown to be wrong in his view that the expenditure was illegal. They therefore confirmed the disallowance, but relieved the persons surcharged from the effect of the auditor's decision. As regards the general question, the Board consider that if it is necessary for the public convenience in the use of a public footpath that a stile or gate across the path should be repaired, or that a gate should be substituted for a stile, the parish council may do the work required. If, however, an enlargement of the public rights of way is involved, the Board are advised that the consent of the owner of the soil must be obtained.