ROTHER has dealt traders “a kick in the teeth” over plans to increase parking charges in Battle.
During the summer, the Battle and District Chamber of Commerce launched a parking refund scheme, which allowed car park users to get a refund for one hour’s parking from participating traders.
Just two months ago, with the knowledge and blessing of Rother District Council, the chamber put stickers advertising the scheme on parking metres and information boards in the Mount Street and Upper and Lower Market car parks.
This week the council revealed proposals to scrap the one hour parking bracket.
Dale Cromwell, chair of the Battle and District Chamber of Commerce said: “That really disappoints me.
“We are now in a situation where we are going to be offering to refund a period of time which cannot be refunded.
“No-one brought this up when we talked about it. No-one said it was on the cards.
“Now we are going to have to go to all the people who have agreed to it and go round and say ‘can you refund two hours?’.
“It was enough convincing people to take part in it when it was an hour.”
Rother has already managed to upset the chamber over its approach to the parking refund scheme after an over-zealous council official removed the stickers advertising the scheme from boards and ticket machines - just one day after they had been put up.
Rother said the stickers covered up important information - a claim which was strongly denied by Dale.
The chamber had to order some new stickers, at a cost of £40, and now faces having to order a third new batch.
Speaking about the council’s parking plans, Dale said: “It’s a kick in the teeth.
“We go to through these efforts to keep the town busy and it’s almost like they have moved the goalposts.
“The additional money they will be making will be far less than the loss of revenue to businesses.”