The following people are serving as members on the Essex Local Access Forum:
I am Janet Arthur. I’m a retired Teacher, having been a head of a very busy department in a sixth form college. I live in a small town in the east of Essex. I became a horse rider later in life and on retirement I bought a horse. I enjoy riding out in the Essex Countryside and have enjoyed discovering this lovely county, which I did not know very well before, often riding in areas that are inaccessible except through using public rights of ways.
I have since become involved in bridleways issues and am on the committee of the Essex Bridleways Association. This has brought home to me the need to protect and develop our PRoWs for the future, especially as the road network has become so dangerous for many non-vehicular road users. Belonging to the ELAF is one way that I can contribute to doing that, especially by promoting multi-user networks enabling access by many PRoW users.
My name is Ray Booty and I live in a rural community near Ongar. I am a retired Business Continuity Consultant and whilst working dealt with Continuity Planning, Disaster Recovery and Risk Management. I now spend time dealing with rights of way issues through my positions as Essex Rep for GLASS (the Green Lane Association) and Rights of Way Officer for the Essex Land Rover Club. I am a Land Rover enthusiast but also enjoy walking and motorcycling.
I joined the Essex LAF to help work towards better access to our rights of way for all users, to help protect our rights of way network and to promote sensible and sustainable use of byways by motorised users.
Ray was elected as Chair of Essex Local Access Forum from 1st April 2015.
I am Bob Drane, a retired tool maker. I have lived in Braintree all of my life and been a motorcyclist since 1948. I joined the Braintree and District Motor Cycle Club at that time and am still a member to this day, they made me a life member in 1992. I have served on committees from 1955 onwards, plus other official roles i.e. secretary of meetings, clerk of the course, sporting trials and long distance trials, a discipline I competed in for many years with some success. In 1996 I was elected chairman for the Motor Sports Liaison and Access Group which was obtaining land for all motor sports, from farmers and landowners wishing to diversify. This was supported by the Auto-Cycle Union (ACU).
I applied for membership to Essex LAF in 2003 and remain a member to date. My role on the Essex LAF is ACU Rights of Way Officer for Essex, to protect legal byways in the county so that a legitimate past-time may be pursued in a non-confrontational way.
My name is Ed Dixon and I live in Billericay, which is set in countryside despite being in the Borough of Basildon. I have always enjoyed walking, mainly in Essex and Suffolk, and have tried to continue this where pssible despite an injury in 2003 which also resulted in my retirement from the Electronics industry. This has however given me an interest in disabled access to the countryside.
I am a member of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) which complements Essex LAF in arguing for the benefits of rural access for health and wellbeing.
As a keen horse-rider and walker I am acutely aware of the value and importance of our Public Rights of Way, and I am a great believer in the physical and mental benefits to be gained from being out in the countryside. Our PROW are crucial in enabling this access. PRoW are under increasing threat from many different directions, including housing and other developments, but planning for new developments could be a great opportunity to expand the PRoW network rather than erase it. Finance for capital works and maintenance of PRoW is constantly being squeezed; on the Essex LAF we can help to raise the profile of PRoW and try and mitigate the effects of reducing budgets.
My working life has been in local government in Essex at county, district and town council levels, and I still work for a small parish council, which is helpful in understanding how councils operate in respect of PRoW issues.
My name is Rick Gray, I am 75 and I live in Thaxted, North West Essex . I retired 9 years ago after a wide and varied business career. My current interests apart from family , are based on my interest in walking and outdoor pursuits . The “walking for health” scheme, is trying to encourage people of all ages to see and feel the benefits of walking, particularly in the countryside. I lead two walks weekly, as part of this scheme. We have referrals from doctors and other health workers, together with local free advertising outlets. This means that we attract a wide cross section of people.
Due to my interest in PROW’s, I joined our local P3 group. This group of volunteers, looks after the quality and condition of footpaths in our area, some 100 Km. The activities range from vegetation cutting, grass cutting, bridge repair, route signage and, in our case, waymarker post painting. All these activity are overseen by the County Highways department. LAF is an integral part in the management of our countryside, including pathways, bridleways and byways. I am pleased to be a part of the team.
I am a Parish Councillor and a keen walker, cyclist and very occasional carriage passenger! I live on the northern edge of Colchester and I have frequently seen ProWs disappear as a result of a lack of consideration for alternative methods of travel, and poor planning. On the Essex LAF I hope to encourage a better dialogue between parish/town councils and district and Essex County Council, so that all residents may continue to enjoy easy access to the countryside.
My career has revolved around food and farming and have always been based in Essex. My previous experience includes managing a mixed dairy and arable farm in the county, but I swapped cows for commuting in 2000 when I joined the Food Standards Agency in London. This was followed by five years with a specialist agri-food business consultancy before joining the NFU as Essex County Adviser. As well as working with NFU members in Essex I provide the secretariat to the NFU Regional Livestock Board with a particular interest in the cattle sector.
With farmland covering 69% of the county my work with the NFU touches on many access issues in addition to the broader aspects of land management and environmental matters. I live close to Colchester and I am a Parish councillor.
I am Dr John L Victory, a Chartered Engineer living in Billericay. I have always been interested in outdoor pursuits including mountaineering, rock climbing, cycling and various water sports.
Since retiring from the automotive industry I have had time available for volunteering and I want to help local people in Essex by promoting the public rights of way network for the benefits to leisure pursuits and improvement to the health of future generations.