Rye council decided not to support the introduction of civil parking enforcement in principle despite years of complaining about motorists parking irresponsibly.
Deputy mayor Michael Boyd proposed a motion to back taking control of parking from police in the district in essence at a special meeting of Rye Town Council (RTC) on Monday, July 11.
Other than the seconder, Cllr Andi Rivett, the other four councillors present opposed the suggestion citing fears over the system being abused and it becoming more expensive to park in Rye.
An RTC spokesman said the council does agree the parking situation does need to improve but the councillors at the meeting had reservations about civil parking enforcement (CPE).
“The council’s long-standing opinion is that some form of effective parking enforcement is needed in Rye but, until its meeting on July 11, the council had not been asked to consider whether to favour the introduction of CPE,” the spokesman said.
“It would appear that a majority of those councillors attending the special council meeting have reservations about the adoption of decriminalised on-street parking enforcement. “Had the six absent councillors been able to attend the meeting it is possible that there may have been a different outcome.”
Cllr Boyd’s motion stemmed from Rother District Councillor Lord Ampthill’s suggestion at the previous meeting that it may be helpful for RTC to outline its view on CPE clear.
According to the draft minutes, Cllr Rebekah Gilbert asked members to consider the possible consequences of introducing CPE, which would give East Sussex County Council the power to enforce parking regulations, with the likely introduction of parking attendants.
Cllr Gilbert suggested a private company may apply regulations ‘more rigidly’ and ticket machines may be vandalised. She also asked would Rye benefit from CPE or would the costs outweigh the money generated?
Rother District Council is one of 17 authorities out of 330 in England and Wales not to take responsibility away from Sussex Police who claims it has more important things to deal with.
Cllr Pat Hughes said she had to give up her job in Hastings because she could not afford the increased car parking costs after CPE was introduced.
Over the last year pressure has been mounting on East Sussex County Council to introduce CPE to deal with the situation across Rother with many motorists regularly parking illegally or irresponsibly.
Former mayor Bernardine Fiddimore held a meeting with Sussex police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne and other top police officers to discuss the parking situation in March and decided to set up a group to tackle the problem of vehicles blocking up Rye town centre by parking improperly.
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