Civil Parking Enforcement proposals dropped by Wealden Council

Wealden councillors have supported their leader and dropped proposals for the introduction of Civil Parking Enforcement in the district.

All recommendations made by leader Cllr Bob Standley as included in the story below were agreed at a meeting of Cabinet this morning.

From an Uckfield News original story on January 24: Wealden Council looks set to ditch the idea of taking on responsibility for Civil Parking Enforcement in the district.

Council leader Bob Standley is going against corporate management team advice in recommending that current arrangements for enforcement by police – even though they consider it low priority – continue.

BobStandley

Cllr Bob Standley.

He also recommends continuing a dialogue with Sussex Police on how on-street parking enforcement can be managed for the benefit of Wealden residents and continuing a dialogue with town and parish councils on the on-street parking issues in their areas.

A report to the council’s cabinet, which meets on Wednesday, January 31, says Wealden was considering the introduction of Civil Parking Enforcement because of an increasing amount of public and press comment about on-street car parking.

Reasons included redevelopment work undertaken on High Streets in Uckfield and Hailsham, the growth in the number of residents in the area, increasing use of rail stations and a public announcement by Sussex Police that its responsibility for parking enforcement would be of low priority, unless parked vehicles were posing a danger to the public.

The council considered a variety of options which included:

  1. Maintaining the status quo with the police being responsible for enforcement.
  2. Working with town and parish councils to change public behaviour, while also maintaining the status quo with the police being responsible for enforcement.
  3. Community wardens with some enforcement powers
  4. Working with East Sussex County Council to support the introduction of Civil Parking Enforcement with Pay and Display

The council’s corporate management team favoured the fourth option.

The introduction of Civil Parking Enforcement was considered viable by East Sussex County Council only if there was some form of charging, but the report to cabinet says information gathered since early December 2017, based on engagement with town, parish, and district councillors, showed there was widespread concern about the effect on high street shops and businesses if pay and display was implemented in the district.

“The argument has been made that small traders will suffer as people will use supermarkets instead, where they can park for nothing.”

The report continues: “There is dislike of the perceived urbanisation of the local street scene, especially in rural areas where the installation of pay and display machines would not sit well with the existing look of Wealden towns and villages.”

The report concludes that while Wealden’s cabinet has previously said the first two options would not provide a permanent solution to the problem of on-street parking infringements in the absence of police enforcement, there is a view within local communities that the introduction of pay and display to fund the civil parking enforcement model is not an option that is appropriate in the rural environment of Wealden Council.

Read previous Uckfield News stories on the possible introduction of Civil Parking Enforcement:

Charges could be introduced for on-street parking in Wealden

Maps show Uckfield pay parking spaces and residential permit zones

See also:

Sussex Police portion of council tax to rise by £12 a year

Now Community Speedwatch is to tackle errant Uckfield drivers

Uckfield CCTV – talks on installation

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