The Health and Safety terror is now threatening the cobblestones of the medieval Somerset village of Dunster.
There have bbeen some people slipping on them. But anybody who lives in the village would have been aware of the cobblestones before moving in. Tourists worried about the risk could shop elsewhere. Furthermore the cobbles could be repaired but the shop keepers are worried that by doing so they would take liability.
At the moment ownership and responsibility is unclear. The village was owned by the Luttrell family until 1951 when it was sold. Somerset County Council's highways department then took on responsibility for the roads but not the pavements.
The Dunster Working Group includes reps from Conservative-controlled Somerset County Council and West Somerset Council, which is run by independents.
Couldn't Somerset County Council agree to sensitively repair the cobblestones? Of course there is the risk someone might sue them as people will still occasionally slip. But Lord Young's proposed changes should help. The law needs to be changed to stop people suing in such circumstances – but we should not just rip up our history in the interim.
I will email Cllr Ken Maddock, the leader of Somerset County Council, and ask for his comments.