Time to tidy up shabby Rye

Overgrown Rye Garden ENGSUS00120130814084322
Overgrown Rye Garden ENGSUS00120130814084322
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The shabby state of Rye is topping complaints received by the Town Council

Now Mayor Bernardine Fiddimore is calling on people to pull together to help transform the town.

Complaints about the appearance of the historic town now exceed those about traffic and congestion according to Town Clerk Richard Farhall.

The Town Council discussed the possibility of appointing a new Town Steward to help tackle the issue when it met this week.

But the proposal was deferred to allow councillors time to consult with Rother and East Sussex County Council’s to see what they can do to approve the appearance of Rye.

The rallying call comes hot on the heels of accusations that Rother Council has neglected the historic Landgate Arch.

Speaking at the meeting Cllr Shaun Rogers said: “We need to take some civic pride in our town and do some things for ourselves.”

But Cllr Mary Smith said: “The district council is failing to provide this service. We are basically doing the job Rother charges taxes for.”

Commenting on the idea of a Town Steward, Deputy Mayor Cllr Jonathan Breeds said: “We do a lot of talking and not much action. People in the town feel disconnected if there is a problem and they need someone to raise it with.”

The Mayor said: “To my mind this move is a no-brainer for Rye. We are seeing increasing criticism from all sorts of people about the shabby appearance of the town and having our own ‘handyman’ would allow us to address some problem areas under our own steam.

“The simple fact is that the higher authorities are increasingly cash strapped and a lot of what was once possible for them to maintain, is now impossible. Many of us at Rye Town Council believe that we must take on some more of the services.

“Rother District Council has repeatedly indicated that help and support can be forthcoming if Rye is prepared to take more responsibility for some of it’s own affairs.

“We have this well thought out proposal for a Town Steward, a forward thinking and pro-active proposal - we even have the finance available for at least a trial.”

Pictured is a neglected public garden near Watchbell Street, which is overgrown with weeds.