Councillor strikes back at trail riders’ bias claims

A councillor has defended himself against claims that his membership of a rambling organisation is making him biased against trail riders.

The Trail Riders’ Fellowship (TRF) questioned how Councillor Andrew McCloy could remain impartial as a member of the Peak District National Park Authority’s Audit Resources and Performance (ARP) Committee when he is also a member of the Ramblers’ Association.

The ARP Committee is responsible for handing out traffic regulation orders, banning vehicles from using green lanes and the TRF claims rambling groups have given their support to a campaign to ban off–roaders from green lanes.

Mike Irving, of TRF, said: “How can it be fair for people who are members of lobby groups to sit in judgement on these difficult decisions? How can they be impartial and give everyone a fair hearing?”

Cllr McCloy said he had registered his membership of the Rambers’ Association.

“I have nothing to hide,” he added. “I don’t believe it does cloud my view. I have always tried to take a very level–headed view. I always try to look at both sides in a sensible way.”

The TRF also pointed out that Cllr McCloy edits Peak village magazine The Bugle and carried an article last year calling for residents to complain about off–roaders.

Cllr McCloy said he only edits the magazine and did not write the article in question – claiming he has been very careful not to write anything about green lanes.