GOVERNMENT cuts left Rother with “little choice” but to propose a change in parking charges, the council leader has told the Observer.
Rother District Council leader Cllr Carl Maynard said: “The car parking review is still to be debated and changes have to be approved through due process.
“However, we and other organisations throughout the district, have to accept this is just one of the many difficult decisions the council has to take in the current financial climate.
“While we of course sympathise with residents and businesses in the present economic situation, the reality is that Government has slashed our budget by almost £2million, leaving us one of the worst hit councils in the country in terms of the extent of funding cuts.
“We already charge the lowest Council Tax in East Sussex and, while we have no plans to put it up, the Government would not allow us to anyway.
“We started with the lowest staffing levels of any local authority in the South East, but have even cut that back by almost 20 per cent in the last six months.
“The council has also identified and is implementing £1.7million of other savings by joint working with other authorities, among other methods.
“In order to continue delivering services to the public we have little choice but to increase our income through other means and this may include car parks.
“We wouldn’t choose to do it in normal circumstances, but that is the economic reality of the situation and it’s very important town councils, partner organisations and residents understand that.”