Rye Council takes action to tidy up town

Overgrown Rye Garden ENGSUS00120130814084322
Overgrown Rye Garden ENGSUS00120130814084322

Rye Council has gone ahead with its move to employ a Town Steward to help improve the appearance of the town.

Monday evening’s specially called council meeting saw councillors taking a proactive response to demands from local people that action is needed.

They voted to employ a worker, initially on a 12 month fixed contract. The newly created role will include everything from tackling overgrown vegetation to removing dog’s mess, maintenance, cleaning and painting and temporary repair of pot-holes.

Speaking at the meeting, Rye Mayor Bernardine Fiddimore said: “This will create a centralised public point of reference that people in the town want to see.

“It will show the council reacting in a positive and proactive way in responding to the needs of people rather than people thinking we sit in our ivory tower wearing medieval clothes.”

Rye Town Clerk Richard Farhall commented: “Visitors will go somewhere else if they perceive Rye to be dirty and untidy and that will effect our local economy.”

Cllr Jo Kirkham said: “We are trying to respond to the public and give them what they asked for.”

Pat Hughes, from Rye Community Transport, said: “Many people I have spoken to feel tidying the town should take priority.”

The neglected state of Rye was given prominence when Campaign for a Democratic Rye chairman Alan Bolden handed the council a long list of things that needed improving .

Many, including former Mayor Shaun Rogers believe the council and local people should take a proactive role in helping to improve the appearance of the town.

It has been pointed out that Rother Council no longer has the resources to carry out some tasks it once did due to ongoing budget cuts.

The running costs of a new Town Steward are estimated at £14,000 a year. The Council will advertise the post.