Tell councillors parking issues

Rye and Battle Observer letters
Rye and Battle Observer letters

From: Paul Courtel, Amherst Road, Bexhill

A brief paper from the Executive Director of Business Operations to Rother’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Monday, March 20 asked councillors “to prepare an overview assessment of known parking problems within their wards by March 31, 2017, which will be incorporated in the information sent to East Sussex County Council.”

Councillors are “encouraged to complete and return the maps by March 31, 2017 to Democratic Services” on which they are asked to identify parking hotspots.

Officers of Rother District Council and East Sussex County Council are working together to develop a joint business case which will include an initial review of the main parking concerns, outline proposals to manage Civil Parking Enforcement, estimate set up costs, running costs, the level of charging and/or enforcement required to offset or underwrite these costs and a timeline for the implementation of a Civil Parking Enforcement scheme “if supported”.

Regrettably, the Conservative Leader of Rother District Council (Carl Maynard) and Bexhill’s Mayor (Simon Elford) both told the Committee at a recent meeting that now was not the time to implement Civil Parking Enforcement. At the Rother Cabinet meeting on March 13, Conservative Councillor Brian Kentfield even opposed the enforcement of double yellow lines on the congested section of London Road between Chepbourne Road and the A259. That included the bottleneck caused by a sharp bend in the road where vehicles parked on both sides restrict the flow of traffic.

In view of these statements, I’m convinced that the ward assessments cannot be safely left to Rother Councillors, mainly Conservative, on their own. I don’t think any individual, even a councillor, has complete knowledge of their ward.

Bexhill Central ward has the greatest concentration of parking problems in Rother. In May 2015, I came within a few votes of being elected the first ever Labour Councillor for that ward.

If I were currently a Rother Councillor for that ward, I would be seeking the widest possible detailed advice from residents, businesses, employees and voluntary organisations in the ward prior to submitting my assessment. I therefore plan to ask my two Rother District Councillors for a face-to-face meeting prior to their sending their assessments to Rother. With their consent, I would like all interested residents to be able to attend this face-to-face meeting.

Should you be interested in attending, please contact me on paul.courtel@btinternet.com or on 01424 222 761 or on 07712 178 546.

Should you be unable to attend, please email or write to your Rother Councillors with the specific points and locations you would like included in their report. You can find their contact details on http://www.rother.gov.uk/article/179/Councillors.

I shall also be asking Rother to publicise this issue on Rother Alerts so that residents can have the opportunity to influence their Councillors’ assessments.

I shall also be asking the Police Public Engagement Officer to publicise it in her weekly public communication. I also plan to publish the issue on the ‘Bexhill-on-Sea Group’ Facebook page.

Finally, I shall be asking my local PCSO, Neil Holden, to share his considerable local knowledge with the two local Councillors for Bexhill Central so that the most thorough assessment possible can be submitted to Democratic Services.

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