Rye Tourism Centre staff not to blame for lack of figures

STAFF at the Lion Street tourist information are not to blame for the lack of figures and dated telephony system says Rye Town Council.

Instead they lay the blame at the door of Rother Council and Tourism South East.

Heritage Centre manager Peter Cosstick said: “The concerns raised in the policy meeting were not aimed at the manager and staff of the Rye TIC who do a great job. The discussion was focused on Rother Council and Tourism South East.

“Currently, the provision of Tourism Services for the Rother District is contracted to Tourism South East who receive a grant of £65,000 p.a. from Rother. This includes Rye, Battle and Bexhill areas.

“Due to budget reductions and concerns over duplication, an initial approach had been made to Rye Town Council by Rother to explore the possibility of Rye Town Council providing tourism services for the Rother district from April 2015.

“The contract would be the same as currently exists, but would be on a greatly reduced grant amounting to £30,000 p.a.

“To enable Rye TC to fully understand the implications and associated risks of this offer, a request was made to Rother to provide key financial and operational information relating to the existing provider. It was considered this information was important to assess the viability of operating on a greatly reduced grant .

“Rother were unable to provide any financial performance data on income and costs. This was a concern as the original tender document clearly stated associated costs and income would be made available to Rother.

“There is an answer phone service at Rye TIC which only comes into operation if the phone is left unanswered. There is a risk that at peak times, customers may be unable to get through.”