Hello I am a solicitor with over 15 years experience. I will try to help you with this.
Am I right in thinking that the footpath is effectively a pavement adjacent to a public road? Is there any reason to think that the land owner owns the land on which the footpath is located?
I am not always at my computer! You are correct in your surmise that the footpath is a pavement adjacent to a public road, and the land owner does not own the land on which the footpath is located.
Do I now wait for a response?
In that case the local council was within it's rights to cut back the hedge as far as the landowner's boundaries. This would presumably cover cutting back to enable the path to be used. If the hedge is invading the footpath from the landowner's land there is an argument that he has allowed his bush to spread onto the footpath and should have taken steps to prevent this. It is not a great argument but it is one you can use in correspondence with him if you wish. People are forever threatening to consult with their solicitors but this person appears to have suffered no harm and if his hedge has encroached on the public path if anything he should be grateful someone else has cut it back.