‘No’ to pay and display parking on Wealden’s high streets

Cabinet felt the scheme posed a threat to the economic well-being of shops
Cabinet felt the scheme posed a threat to the economic well-being of shops

Wealden District Council’s Cabinet has said ‘no’ to a proposal to put pay and display parking meters on some of the District’s high streets but remains determined find a solution to illegal on-street parking.

“We feel the proposal put forward by East Sussex County Council which involved pay and display meters was a sledgehammer to crack a nut,” said Council Leader Cllr Bob Standley.

“It did not fit in with the rural identity of Wealden and posed a threat to the economic well–being of our high street shops, which are coping with changing retail patterns caused by internet shopping.

“Thoughtless and sometimes dangerous parking in our high streets remains a problem but there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The way forward is to continue to work with the police to encourage them to act where illegal parking poses a risk, and to work with town and parish councils to look at ways to tackle their specific on-street car parking problems.”

Cllr Standley will be discussing the matter with Sussex’s Police and Crime Commissioner later this month and a number of his Cabinet colleagues pointed out the how an increased police presence in villages and towns would be greatly welcomed by their local communities.

Cabinet also welcomed the increased local role played by the community wardens employed by some parish and town councils. It would like to see the law changed to allow community wardens to enforce on-street car parking offences.

Cabinet has been considering a business case drawn up with East Sussex County Council to introduce Civil Parking Enforcement in Wealden since December, and taking soundings from the local community. Highway authorities like the county council are responsible for civil parking enforcement in those areas where on-street car parking offences have been decriminalised.

At Wednesday’s discussion (January 31) councillors urged residents to take greater personal responsibility and obey the law regarding parking on double yellow lines which are for the benefit of everyone.