LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Council contributed to bridle track demise

The mayor’s recent comments in regard to the wingers of Clifton Grove and the bridle paths were quite wrong it was not the residents who created the problem it was OCC lack of maintenance.

When the area was first opened by a previous council they designed it with bridle paths to allow residents to drive their stock to the community stock yards and enable horse riding in the bridle paths and the wide footpaths and appointed a manager to carry out the maintenance of the area.

When Orange City Council took over Clifton Grove their policy was to carry out minimal maintenance, no mowing of footpaths, mow one mower wide on the road verges if possible and one mower wide in the bridle paths.

This to be carried out if and when the mowers were available from maintenance in town this resulted in the growth of noxious plants, wattle and rubbish to grow on the footpaths making them unusable and walkers and horse riders forced to walk on the road, the bridle paths became overgrown and unsafe to use because of erosion.

When approached to request maintenance it was either too hot, too dry or too wet.

Then to make it worse, council authorised the planting of trees in the bridle paths making them look nice but impossible to maintain.

The only time some of the footpaths were mowed was when the Rural Fire Service paid OCC to carry out the work to create fire breaks or ordered by the service to remove scrub.

Trees and high bushes under power lines were regularly cut and cleared by the power company.

No objections were raised about leasing the bridle paths for grazing, it was the council’s lack of supervision.

Most of the above can be substantiated as I was one of the mayor’s so-called whingers, who wrote letters and kept councils replies.