Footpaths, and the lack of their intended amenity, within our towns and villages is subject matter that I would like the council to address as a matter of importance.
Though I encourage the grass verges throughout our shire, for both environmental and aesthetic reasons, they are often difficult or impossible to traverse with say a pram, bicycle or wheelchair (to cover the generations, so to speak).
Some have uneven surfaces and slopes, many have no paved path inserted within the green.
This makes access to a residence difficult (one of the problems I face with my house) and walking along the street a hazard unless you go onto the road, a potential hazard in itself.
Try pushing a pram with an infant and holding a three year-old's hand while a car sounds its horn behind you.
I've encountered this most recently during the Bundanoon markets.
Though these grassed verges are council land, their maintenance falls to the shire's residents.
Some people mow these grassed areas outside their residential boundary themselves, others may not be able to manage a lawn mower due to age, incapacities, or time constraints.
These people, including myself, are required to pay someone to do this task.
In my own case in Bowral, I have approximately 130sqm grass verge and pay $660 per annum for its mowing (I have receipts).
That's a net amount that should at my age of seniority be able to be applied to other needs, especially in this age of dwindling asset earnings.
My son-in-law has over 200sqm outside his house and spends an hour every few weeks maintaining this council land, in addition to the residence's lawn.
The children know to steer clear of Dad after these episodes as his temper is inevitably short.
My suggestion to the council would be to make council land within its own remit to maintain.
Create a council lands committee, treat it as an important project, get footpaths functioning better, and organise a working team to care for this land.
If the latter is not immediately possible throughout the shire (I suggest posting notices within Centrelink as one source of available labour) then at least reimburse all those residents who lose a substantial annual net income on mowing civic lands.
A deduction from their council rates upon presentation of receipts perhaps?