Tom’s footpath campaign ends

A two-and-a-half-year campaign to get a footpath resurfaced finally bore fruit this week when Derbyshire County Council carried out long-awaited repair work.

Tom Coniffe, of Heanor, who had campaigned for 14 months to get an unadopted footpath linking Joan Avenue to High Street in the town adopted, finally succeeded in February last year after his work was highlighted in the News.

And now, 12 months later, resurfacing work on the potentially dangerous path has at last been completed.

Mr Coniffe said: “Without councillor Kevin Parkinson’s help it would never have gotten done. I fought hard for it but we finally got it done. It is a damn good job. To me it’s perfect.”

Mr Conniffe, who has had major surgery which left him struggling to walk, started the campaign after he fell on the loose alleyway surface. He later discovered other people had suffered injuries along the path. Mr Conniffe uncovered a legal agreement from 1945 proving that the steeply sloping alleyway is a public right of way and the responsibility of the county council to maintain. In May 2011 he sent the authority a petition with 74 names on it, asking that it repaired the pathway. He then got his neighbours to sign a letter calling for repairs.