Pay more to tackle parking?

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Car parking may be a problem in Bexhill but in my experience it is just as hard to find a parking space in Eastbourne or Hastings.

Decriminalisation is not a panacea and if the provision of street lighting in Bexhill can be treated differently from Eastbourne and Hastings why not for car parking as well?

Bexhill residents already pay in their council tax an additional sum, known as Bexhill Special Expenses, that is used to fund items such as parks, allotments, bus shelters and Christmas lighting.

The charge could be raised, or redirected, to pay the police to employ one or more officers specifically to enforce the existing parking restrictions.

Such an approach is not new. In Camden, Southend and Humberside councils and business organisations have funded the provision of extra officers or community support officers to meet particular problems that the police have been unable to respond to.

So there is no reason why it could not be done by Rother District Council for Bexhill.

It is true that whilst decriminalisation and the introduction of parking charges would fall on car users only an increase in council tax to fund additional officers would be borne by all Bexhill residents. However I would argue that finding a solution to the present parking problems would make the town centre better and safer for all residents, regardless of whether they own a car or not.

A solution exists. Whether there is the will and the way depends on the community being willing to find the money and Rother District Council the way to negotiate suitable arrangements with East Sussex Police.

BRIAN COPE

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