Peak & Northern Footpaths Society is an unincorporated association governed by a set of rules (the Constitution) and a Managing Committee. The Managing Committee are members of the Society who are elected by other members at the AGM. The constitution sets out and also allows for members to be appointed to the Managing Committee between AGMs.
The Society is also a registered charity (no. 212219). The current Constitution is based upon the model constitution provided by the Charity Commission for unincorporated associations. The Constitution was adopted in 2013 and modified in 2018 to enable us to fund improvements. As the Society is a registered charity, the members of the Managing Committee are also the Trustees. Trustees have independent control over, and legal responsibility for, the charity’s management and administration.
The duties of a trustee are set out in Charity Commission guidance (CC3). This document stipulates Trustees must:
The Managing Committee meets regularly, with meetings chaired by the Chair of the Society. Other Officers and interested parties attend by invitation.
For dates of meetings, please go to Volunteers in the main menu at the top of this page and click on Calendar. You can contact the Managing Committee via the Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Simon Worrall recruits, trains, manages and develops a team of over 150 Footpath Inspectors. Each Inspector has a designated area and walks the public rights of way in it to ensure that they're safe, unobstructed and properly signed. They also investigate issues reported to us by members of the public. If there's a problem, they inform the relevant highway authority and monitor progress towards a satisfactory solution. Simon is supported by John Fisher, who handles fault reports from Path Checkers and others, and Linda Smith, who assists with communication with Inspectors.
Inspectors enter their reports in our Footpath Inspections Database (FID), which is password protected and available to all our members. Inspectors also investigate any proposed changes to the public rights of way in their area and prepare reports for the Consultations & Orders team (see below).
Although the team's main focus is on our many metal signposts, they also keep an eye on several fingerposts, three toposcopes (points of interest indicators) and five plaques. Please see our Signposts & bridges page for more information.
For new signposts the work usually starts enquiries from individuals and clubs who want to put up a memorial or commemorative signpost. We then select a site, obtain the landowner's permission and see to the design, ordering, painting and erecting. Existing signposts are regularly inspected, cleaned, photographed and painted. Occasionally they need repair or complete refurbishment or replacement. All details are recorded. We hire a paid contractor, John Hodgson of Mellor, who is assisted by Peter Ash, Ted Wolfe and/or other Members of the Society when needed.
The Society contributes towards the cost of new or replacement footbridges which have fallen into disrepair on public footpaths. Certain criteria have to be met before the trustees approve any donation. Nigel, our Bridge and Footpath Assessor, develops suggestions into workable plans and negotiates with the relevant authority over the extent and cost. The work is organised and carried out by contractors working for the authority. On completion, Nigel is involved with the arrangements for a hand-over ceremony and for publicity in the local press. Please see our Improvements page for more information.
The Consultations & Orders Team (also known as the assessors) receives details of proposed changes and orders from highway authorities. In consultation with the local Footpath Inspector and Area Officer, the team considers the highway authority's proposal and send them a detailed response.
Members of the Courts & Inquiries team are responsible for progressing major faults such as serious obstructions, and represent the Society at public inquiries and magistrates' courts.
Shirley Addy edits our quarterly publications Signpost magazine and Waymark newsletter and Mel Bale maintains our website and distributes the electronic versions of the above publications. If you'd like to contribute to either Signpost or Waymark, please email Shirley. If you wish to contribute to this website, please email Mel.
Area Officers work on behalf of the Society in the field. An Area Officer covers a defined area, for example a whole county such as Staffordshire, or part of a county such as the Derbyshire Dales District. Responsibility for areas where there is no Area Officer is taken by volunteers at Taylor House.
Area Officers keep in regular touch with Footpath Inspectors in their area. They offer support as needed and deal directly with reports of faults in parishes not covered by an Inspector. If necessary, they may contact a highway authority and serve a legal notice on it. This might happen, for example, if an urgent problem on a right of way is causing difficulties for users but is taking too long to resolve.
Area Officers also respond to consultations from authorities about proposed diversion and extinguishment orders. Their response takes into account the views of the Footpath Inspector (if there is one for the relevant parish).
|Area Officer||Their area|
|Jenny Allen||Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester Council|
|Rhoda Barnett||Amber Valley BC, Derby City Council, Derbyshire Dales DC & South Derbyshire DC|
|Derek Bodey||High Peak|
|Chris Davison||Barnsley MBC|
|David Gosling||Stockport MBC|
|John Harker||Doncaster MBC, Rotherham MBC, Sheffield City Council, Chesterfield Borough, NE Derbyshire District & Bolsover District|
|Jan Howe||Warrington UC|
|(Taylor House)||Blackburn with Darwen Council, Blackpool Council, Bolton Council, Bradford MDC, Bury Council, Calderdale Council, Halton Borough Council, Kirklees Council, Knowsley Council, Lancashire CC, Leeds City Council, Liverpool City Council, Manchester City Council, Oldham Council, Rochdale MBC, Salford City Council, Sefton Council, St Helens Council, Staffordshire, Tameside MBC, Wakefield Council, Wigan Council, Wirral Council|
The word 'officers' here refers to the formal offices of president, chair, vice chair, treasurer and secretary. Other roles retain the word ‘officer’ in their title for historical reasons only, for example Faults Officer, Signpost Officer, Area Officer.
The Trustees are personally accountable to the Charity Commission and the courts for compliance with the rules which apply to the Society. They must always act in the best interests of the Society without deriving any personal benefit from what they do. They must do their best to ensure the Society can and does continue to pursue its objects (as set out in its Constitution) indefinitely, impartially and in a proper manner. They also try to ensure that all the Society's volunteers act only in ways consistent with that aim, and that the Society's financial and other resources are managed and applied prudently. Additionally, the trustees take overall responsibility for the day-to-day running of the Society.
Kathy McLean, in addition to being a Trustee, is the Chair of the Society. She undertakes the duties required of the Chair by the Constitution, as well as the many other customary duties of a person in that role.
Paul Easthope, in addition to being a trustee, is the Society Treasurer and has responsibility for all financial matters, including all payments and expenses. Paul also draws up our monthly management accounts and works closely with our financial examiner to produce our annual statements in accordance with Charity Commission guidelines.
Trustees are personally accountable for compliance with the rules which apply to the Society. They act in the best interests of the Society without deriving any personal benefit from what they do. More details about their roles can be found at the top of this section.