Observer Comment: A pity Rother didn’t listen to police advice

BATTLE: Perhaps council should heed police warnings

• TWO weeks ago Rother announced it was considering introducing new parking charges to raise an extra £60,000 for its coffers.

The leader of the council told the Observer it needs to do so as a result of these tight financial times.

But this ‘cash-strapped’ authority seems perfectly happy to leave £1,400 sitting around in car parking machines overnight, which proved too much of a temptation for one thief.

Three parking meters were broken into in the Mount Street car park overnight, leaving the council with a £1,600 repair bill.

The police spend their whole time warning people not to leave tools in vans overnight, not to leave their valuables on show in their cars and so on.

It’s a pity Rother didn’t listen to this advice.

Or does the council just feel it has enough money to be able to afford to leave hundreds of pounds laying around?

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Judge has let down public

• WILLIAM Smith, one of the robbers who targeted a Battle jewellers last autumn has had his prison sentence cut by a third.

The judge made the decision due to a “lack of weapons or serious injury” in the incident.

What an insult to all those members of the public who put themselves at risk to capture this man as he fled from the scene of the crime.

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RYE: Passengers take strain

• ONE RAIL user at last Friday’s public meeting summed up fears in Rye when he asked “Is it right that a town of 5,000 people should be potentially isolated during the winter months?”

The meeting was held to address concerns by rail users over plans to shut the line down completely in January and February, while repair work is carried out to the Ore Tunnel.

People came to the meeting with intelligent questions and constructive ideas but were confronted with fait accompli.

Rail bosses annnounced that contracts had been signed and dates agreed and there was no way the work could be done at any other time of year.

Requests for at least some service on the line at peak times, to allow passengers to get to work or school, were refused on grounds of cost or practicality.

The best they could offer was a promise to look into a slightly faster bus service from Rye to Ashford that ddoes not deviate to all the smaller stations across Romney Marsh.

But this is if the buses can run at all. Network Rail is taking a huge gamble with the weather and recent winters have seen their fair share of ice and snow with roads impassable.

Rye MP Amber Rudd is right to call for compensation for rail season ticket holders.

Season tickets are not cheap and passengers do not pay in order to have long, uncomfortable bus journeys twice a day for more than two months in the winter.

We accept the work needs to be done, but surely a better compromise could have been found with a little more flexibility.

Once again it’s the rail passengers that are left with the thin end of the wedge.