A Rother District Council scrutiny committee recently considered a request from Robertsbridge for matching funding towards Christmas lights.
The committee agreed that the request fitted the criteria and recommended approval. The cabinet, who make such decisions, turned it down on grounds that display surprising ignorance of parish council finances. The cabinet has form on this.
A few years ago RDC tried to raise money from their free car park in Robertsbridge by starting charging for overstaying the time limits.
Motorists promptly stopped using the car park and parked instead on the streets, making the already overcrowded situation there worse.
We showed, using RDC’s own data, that it was costing more to collect these fines than the fines themselves: in effect RDC were spending council-tax payers’ money to make things worse.
At first, the RDC scrutiny committee refused even to listen, but under a new chairman did recommend to cabinet, as we had asked, that the fining should cease until the whole problem of car parking in Rother, under active discussion at the time, had been decided.
Cabinet turned that down too for surprising reasons.
One was that the extra street parking would help traffic calming.
It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that RDC cabinet is ignorant, stubborn, incompetent, and quite possibly prejudiced.
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