Police park warden hopes

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Parking clogging up Rye's High Street may be better controlled in future - but not for a while yet

Hopes of tackling Rye’s parking problems by sharing a community warden with Battle have been dashed by the police. But the police themselves say they can not deal with parking issues.

Rye Town Council is therefore asking Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne to come to a public meeting in the town to explain the police’s  resource problems and set out how parking issues can be tackled in future.

The council was told Mayor Cllr Bernardine Fiddimore and Cllr Mike Boyd had recently attended a briefing given by the Police and Crime Commission (PCC). The police had outlined its funding situation then and sought interest from local councils in establishing pilot community wardens. This was because the police said it no longer had the resources to address “low level” crime.

Rye, and a number of other councils, at the meeting stressed that street parking issues were a priority for them. However they were told that the powers that could be conferred upon a warden by the Chef Constable did not include parking enforcement.

Rother District Council (RDC) has no powers for the Civil Enforcement of Parking (CPE) and RDC Cllr Lord Ampthill said the council was not interested in introducing CPE. However RDC, like Wealden DC, is one of a very small number of councils nationally not to have CPE powers and, as cuts in police resources begin to bite, the government nationally may be obliged to force them to take on this role.

Cllr Ampthill said RDC was disappointed that the police have limited the resources they make available for parking issues. Police priorities will be discussed in Rye at the Town Hall next Wednesday, November 11, at 530 pm and the meeting, to set the top three local police priorities, is open to the public.

In the meantime though Rye’s Town Council want to hear from the PCC at a public meeting in the town – but it may not take place until next year.

In the meantime  urgent repairs to the Landgate may mean the main entrance into the High Street is closed by scaffolding. This could result in temporary changes to the one way system, and a possible ban on parking in some areas in order to facilitate a temporary two way system.

Deliveries and collections may be affected and worsen existing problems in Lion Street and the High Street, particularly around the George Hotel. Residents in the Citadel area, as well as visitors, also may be particularly affected, depending on what temporary arrangements prove necessary – and how long they need to be in place.

The Public Services Committee had recommended to the Council that the PCC should be invited to a public meeting to discuss police priorities as it would be an opportunity to raise parking concerns and ask her to reconsider the proposal from Rye and Battle that they should be allowed to fund traffic wardens.

 

Photo: Ray Prewer