Rye Observer Comment

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AS a community newspaper we take no delight in publishing negative stories but we cannot ignore the clamour that is coming from everyone from the Mayor down.

Rother council has been accused of letting Rye go to wrack and ruin while pumping thousands into smartening up Bexhill.

The evidence is everywhere - you only have to take a walk around the town.

It has now reached the stage where regular visitors to the town are asking “What is happening to Rye”.

Rother cannot be blamed for everything as many of the sites mentioned are privately owned. But they do have power to take action to force owners of tatty and derelict sites to improve them and in our opinion they have been slow and reluctant to do that.

Compare this to Hastings, just along the coast, where the council takes a zero tolerance approach to dereliction threatening property owners with legal action if they fail to properly maintain their buildings and launching schemes such as Grot-Busters.

What has happened to the post of Town Manager which was designated to deal with just this sort of problem?

Rye residents must play their part too by helping keep the town looking nice, not littering and being quick to report any mess or eye-sores to the local authorities.

One thing is certain, it is going to take a massive effort if Rye is going to look attractive to visitors this summer and realise its full potential as a tourist destination.

This week we say goodbye to Charlie Piggott - a true Sussex countryman and one of a vanishing breed.

His knowledge of the countryside and local history was formidable.

But what others may not know is that kind-hearted Charlie, while no youngster himself, devoted a lot of his time to helping elderly people in the community. He regularly entertained Age Concern day centre users in Rye with his penny whistle playing. He will be missed.