May 22, 2011
Highbridge group given £2,000 boost for reinstatement of
War Memorial Trust has been awarded a £2,000 grant from
Somerset Community Foundation to reinstate a footpath which runs
through Southwell Gardens in the town.
news comes after long-running discussions between the trust -
which runs Highbridge's Southwell House and Gardens - and Sedgemoor
District Council over the path's ownership.
Lyes, from the trust, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "Before work
commenced legal advice had to be sought regarding the ownership
of this footpath. The footpath was created during the 1970's when
Sedgemoor District Council came into being."
the Trustees have been advised that the District Council wrongly
assumed the responsibility for this charity from the then Urban
District Council, although no formal documentation was ever created
to give them the power of Trustees."
in fact never had any powers whatsoever to create this footpath
on charity land, and acted as owners instead of Trustees. When
the present Trustees took over the Charity on 10th December 2002,
they in fact took on the responsibility of this footpath and are
in fact the owners of it."
is not a public right of way, and this fact has been registered
under Section 31 of the Highways Act 1980. The Trustees have no
desire to close off this footpath and are happy for the public
to continue using it, although they do so at their own risk."
"The Trustees will continue to close off the car park for
24 hours in any one year in order to protect charity land."
added that the trustees were disappointed that a public seat along
the path has recently been broken by vandals.
"This Charity is a voluntary organisation, and does not receive
any funding from either the Town Council or the District Council.
All funds have to be raised voluntarily and the Trustees cannot
continue to fund raise to provide facilities for the public only
to find them vandalised within a short space of time of their
"However, we do wish to thank all our supporters who attend
our coffee mornings, pop-in luncheons, and hall users, as you
all play a very important role in the maintenance of the premises."