Pleas for a community parking warden to clamp down on illegal parking by Rye Town Council were rebuffed by police.
The council wanted to share a warden with Battle to try to improve the parking situation but Sussex Police said it cannot delegate those powers unless Rother District Council (RDC) decriminalises illegal parking.
Officers claim they do not have the resources to monitor ‘low level’ crimes like parking.
District councillor Lord Ampthill said RDC is not interested in making it a civil offence and was disappointed police have limited resources available for parking and other ‘low level’ crime at a town council meeting on October 26. Mayor Bernardine Fiddimore and Cllr Mike Boyd attended a police and crime commissioner (PCC) briefing on community wardens hoping they could be given powers to enforce parking regulations.
But they were disappointed to hear that would not be possible, despite making it clear how important it is.
At the meeting, it was announced it would cost £28,000 per annum to fund a community warden, plus travel and cover fees.
Councillors decided to invite Sussex PCC Katy Bourne to a meeting to consider policing issues and argue the case for a joint warden.
Rother is one of 17 authorities out of 330 in England and Wales not to introduce civil parking enforcement. Long-standing town councillor Granville Bantick said the decision by police would have a detrimental effect on tourism.
“It seems that whilst the government is intent on the path of further deep cuts to our services, Rye is left with little or no power to solve the ever increasing parking problem in the town, and with the increases in town traffic and the intention of Jempsons supermarket in Rye to install parking pay machines on its site the problems will no doubt worsen to the detriment of our tourist trade and local shopkeepers,” he said.
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