Angry residents in Woodhall Spa have slammed local councillors after they failed to back calls to keep a historic footpath open.
Parish councillors were expected to reverse an earlier decision and withdraw their support for Lincolnshire County Council’s controversial proposal to close the path which crosses the Hotchkin golf course.
But at an extraordinary meeting last week, councillors decided to support the closure.
That brought a storm of protests from residents and Pat Budge - a member of a local walking group - said ‘democracy had died in Woodhall Spa’.
She claimed the proposer and seconder of the motion to back the closure were members of the golf club which the footpath crosses.
Residents were also fuming after they were barred from speaking at the meeting while representatives of the golf club and the county council were allowed to make representations.
Mrs Budge said: “I am absolutely appalled. At a meeting the previous week, the indication was the council would rescind their original decision.
“Why weren’t residents and users of the path allowed to speak at the extraordinary meeting?
“Why were members of the golf club allowed to propose and second the motion?
“Monday, October 22 is the day democracy died in Woodhall Spa.”
Another resident, Jackie Darling, said: “We are disappointed and angry about the way the meeting was chaired and conducted and the total disrespect given to residents.
“It was bordering on ignorance that no acknowledgement was made to us being in the room.”
Parish council chairman David Clarke said he understood why people were upset, but claimed the council had never said residents would be allowed to speak at the meeting.
He admitted the proposer and seconder of the motion were golf club members but said that did not breach rules applying to councillors declaring interests.
The county council could close the path as part of plans to complete the Spa Trail.
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Weather for Horncastle
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 11 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 8 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 17 mph
Wind direction: North