Rye Observer Comment: Public conveniences let us down

We all know what Rye has to offer - picturesque cobbled streets, unique small shops, beautifully preserved buildings and restaurants selling freshly landed fish.

These are just some of the many reasons why the town attracts visitors from all over the world.

But this counts for little if visitors leave with a bad smell in their nose and memories of Rye’s disgusting toilets.

The public conveniences at Crownfields, outside the railways station and next to the coach park, will form the first impression of Rye for many visitors.

A bad reputation is hard to shake off and in the age of social networking, news and bad reputations spread fast.

This issue is not new, The Observer reported on the poor state of the same toilets earlier this year when Rye councillors carried out their own inspection and found them to be below standard. What action has Rother taken since then, other than to recently announce it is putting its toilet refurbishment programme on hold indefinitely.

The excuses given by Rother officials are quite frankly lame - claiming that people will have to make do with worn and dirty slivers of soap as soap dispensers would get vandalised. Take a look at Hastings, where the council has received awards for the quality and cleanliness of it’s toilets and yet arguably has far more social problems than Rye. Council tax payers deserve a better service.

The real issue is the level of supervision, both in the way contactors maintain public loos and the way in which Rother monitors the work that is carried out.

As one Rye councillor so aptly put it this week: “We are not expecting the Ritz - just a basic level of cleanliness.”



ANYONE who has ever visited Battle town centre will know that free parking spaces are very hard to come by.

And if Rother has its way, even the ‘luxury’ of free overnight and Christmas parking may be taken away too.

But just when you thought the parking situation couldn’t get any worse with the district council’s ongoing parking review, East Sussex County Council, with appallingly bad timing, have identified no less than 10 streets for double yellow lines.

Frustrating as it may be for many, the news may not be seen as a bad thing by some.

For example Yvonne Clarke, who has fought for double yellows and higher kerbs in North Trade Road since she was hit by a lorry which was mounting the pavement to get around parked cars.

And I think most motorists would have to (perhaps begrudgingly) agree that part of the road is simply not suitable for parked cars.

So lines may be fully justified there, but double yellows in some of the smaller residential closes ‘just don’t make sense’ according to one Shirlea View resident.

We will be interested to hear your views on this - write to us at: Battle Observer, Woods House, Telford Road, St Leonards-on-Sea, TN38 9LZ.