Ottery councillor exonerated after complaint over path

AN OTTERY councillor has been cleared of any wrongdoing in a wrangle over a closed and controversial riverside footpath on the town’s outskirts.

The Local Government Ombudsman ruled it was “unable to conclude” that the conduct of Roger Giles broke any rules when he attempted to see Footpath 46 re-opened to the public.

The Ottery town, district and county councillor, was the subject of a complaint from a parish resident irked by his alleged behaviour in relation to the long-closed route that links Titpon to Wiggaton.

In May, the Planning Inspectorate rejected a Devon County Council (DCC) bid to see the popular path diverted onto privately owned land and re-opened, leaving its future in limbo.

Mr Giles had twice previously been exonerated by DCC over footpath-related accusations, that he breached the councillors’ code of conduct.

In its findings, the Local Government Ombudsman stated: “I am unable to conclude that the councillor’s actions here amounted to maladministration.”

Mr Giles told the Herald: “I shall continue to do my utmost to achieve the best possible local network of public rights of way, and shall not be deterred from doing so.”