New Freeman welcomed

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Despite a busy night at Rye’s Arts Festival on Monday, the Town Council found time to fit in a number of meetings with more detailed reports once the Festival is over. One discussion, an official complaint about the August Bank Holiday crowds, had already been debated unofficially , but in some detail, in Rye News. You may wish to add your comments.

Another difficult issue concerned the loading bay outside the George and deliveries in Lion Street. The latest proposals include narrowing some or all of Lion Street with bollards so lorries can not mount the pavements – but this could affect others’ deliveries.

In the meantime Gerard Reilly briefly picks out some of the highlights.

At a Special Meeting of Rye Town Council held on Monday, September 19, the Mayor, Councillor Jonathan Breeds, presented former Mayor Frank Stephen Palmer with a commemorative scroll in recognition of his admission as an Honorary Freeman of the Ancient Town of Rye.

In addition the Council unanimously reversed its decision in regard to its proposal on discounted accommodation and will now proceed to borrow enough from the Public Works Loan Board in order to finance the purchase of a two-bed dwelling to let to a young Rye household at a discounted rent.

The Planning and Townscape Committee then considered and conditionally approved a planning application in The Mint before also considering the problem of managing conflicts of interest regarding deliveries in Lion Street. A proposal to redesign and manage access was considered.

A decision was deferred for further investigation and agreement and Deputy Mayor, Councillor Michael Boyd would continue his informal discussions with residents and interested parties regarding possible pedestrianisation and consequent repercussions.

Anthony Kimber delivered an updated report on the Rye Neighbourhood Plan which was appreciatively received by the committee.

The Policy, Resources and General purposes committee then convened to discuss various financial and budgetary matters crucial to the effective running of the council. Within their purview also lay the consideration of concerns regarding the  Jazz Festival.

Local resident Mrs Mitchell-Innes presented an official complaint with a vivid account of the impact of the festival on householders and other users of Market Street. She was particularly concerned with the intrusion extending over four days, the disruption caused by the conflict of use, pop-up food stalls and open-air stages.

In discussion additional issues were raised. The need for road closure and diversion was questioned. Matters also raised included damage to cobbled roads, woeful marshalling and directional signage and traffic chaos in the citadel area .

It was noted that Rye had acquired a reputation as an attractive location for events such as the Jazz Festival, Scallop Week, the Arts Festival and so on and although the committee would raise the concerns expressed with the Festival organisers and endeavour to resolve them, the council was minded “not to throw the baby out with the bathwater”.

However the report from the Heritage Centre indicated that there was a drop in the number of visitors, particularly French students – which could reflect ongoing problems at Calais.

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