Rother to take parking enforcement from police?

ROTHER is considering whether to decriminalise parking in Battle, which could mean the council takes responsibility for enforcing on-street parking restrictions rather than the police.

Currently, Police Community Support Officers are responsible for handing out tickets to motorists who park illegally in the town centre, for example in loading bays, alongside their other duties.

But following suggestions from residents in Bexhill and Rye, Rother District Council (RDC) is exploring the possibility of switching to civil parking enforcement.

Chief Inspector Trevor Botting, district commander for Rother, raised the issue with Rother following feedback from the Rye and Bexhill Police Panel meetings.

Ch Insp Botting said: “I raised it with them as it is something I feel needs to be reviewed, discussed and consulted upon.

“If something has been one of our Neighbourhood Panel priorities for a number of years, it needs looking at again.”

However any decision on the future of the town’s parking enforcement will be made solely by RDC.

Ch Insp Botting said: “It’s entirely a matter for the council.

“We have a very good relationship with Rother and will be working very closely with them.

“I will support them in any way I can as they develop their parking policy and strategy.”

RDC has confirmed it is looking at the future of on-street parking enforcement across the district, but was not currently considering introducing on-street parking charges.

Rother District Council chief executive, Derek Stevens, said: “In view of the many complaints we receive about the abuse of on street car parking, and the negative impact this has on retailers within our main shopping areas, officers are seeking information from both East Sussex County Council and Sussex Police with regard to civil parking enforcement.

“It must be stressed that this is not about introducing charged on street car parking, such as exists in some other East Sussex towns, but is about looking at a system which will bring about the better enforcement of on street car parking rules and regulations.

“Once all the information is to hand, officers will be reporting to councillors.”

An East Sussex County Council spokesman said: “We have not had any discussions with Rother District Council about this recently but we will be happy to provide advice and assistance as it is needed.”

Battle’s traffic warden was not replaced after he retired in autumn 2009.

The Rye and Bexhill traffic wardens split their time between their patches and Battle.

Due to cuts in police funding, there are currently no dedicated traffic wardens in Rother, along with the rest of East Sussex.