I have been contacted by Alex Neil MSP regarding problems with access legislation. In June I made a FREEDOM OF INFORMATION request to North Lanarkshire Council, which showed that since 2005, 38 access issues remain outstanding, some for as long as SIXyears!
I would like to see an improvement in the current system. Many complaints relate to the more rural landowners rather than urban, and perhaps a database of landowners and boundaries would lead to a quicker identification of those landowners who require to be contacted. Another thing which needs addressed is where landowners simply do not reply. There are outstanding issues from 2007 and 2008 where the landowner has been contacted and refuses to reply. Refusal to respond should not mean that the situation is left to stagnate for 3 or 4 years before being looked at again. So long as the council is seen to be unwilling to bring matters to a close under section 13 (3) the legislation is effectively toothless. Hopefully Mr Neil will be able to move things along, as those in charge at NLC seem happy with the present situation, one that in some cases just doesn’t work.