Wealden District Council

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Ask the Leader has now been suspended in the run–up to the District Council elections. It will resume again after 2 May. You can still contact any of our councillors directly, their contact details are given on our find your local Councillor page.

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The latest Ask the Leader questions and answers are shown below. To view more questions and answers, use the search above, or the 'In this Section' menu.

Parking and selling vehicles from verges

Question

Please can you tell me who is responsible for, road/parking/grass verges/kerbstones within the borough. I get confused as to whether or not it is Wealden’s responsibility or East Sussex Highways.?

The issues...... Illegal parking in Wealden, why has this not been decriminalised and why aren't Wealden taking responsibility for it? There is blatant disregard for parking on yellow & double yellow lines, people eroding grass verges, in some cases all four wheels parked on a grass verge or pavement. This results in obstructions, once quite pretty roads being turned into a parking lot & a basic disregard for a law/regulations. It is absolutely pointless if not embarrassing calling the Police in this day and age of cuts for such matters, a complete waste of their already overstretched resources.

 I worked at an inner London Authority for over 30 years, the introduction of parking enforcement can earn money for the Authority. I see no reason why Wealden cannot do this? I would be interested to see why they chose not to do so as it is basically letting crime & one could argue vandalism go unchecked.

Another issue, is the constant parking of "for sale" vehicles on the roads and on grass verges particularly on roundabouts which obstructs views when approaching them for exiting the roundabout. Are the grass verges/pavements or roundabouts a free place to publicly sell vehicles? It is obviously being done by sole traders & not individuals selling a private vehicles as the advertising in these vehicles is always the same. After working in law enforcement within other Authorities I must admit I am a bit dismayed at the lack of any enforcement of powers by Wealden for this sort of thing. I have tried to speak to various departments but to no avail or I get the old excuse of 'lack of resources" which is basically a "cop" out.

 As I am now retired I would be only to willing to work for free for Wealden if it meant putting manpower into enforcing powers that already exist, that maybe a way round of the 'lack of resources" argument. I dare say there are a lot of ex local authority people with experience, or retired police officers who would be willing to do this?

Kind Regards Mr T Richings

Answer

 Dear Mr Richings

Responsibility for the roads, pavements and verges lies with East Sussex County Council. Responsibility for on-road car parking in Wealden lies with the Police.

The decriminalisation of parking has been discussed at length within the District over the past few years. We have considered plans to decriminalise parking in the District which would allow the County Council to erect pay and display meters on some of our High Streets.  Councillors took the view this would be an extreme measure, detracting from the rural character of the District and posing an economic threat to the local retail community.

Since then, we have been looking at the possibility of using the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme to give powers to community wardens to carry out on-street car parking enforcement. The wardens would be employed by town or parish councils.

Our Street Scene team visit all reports of cars for sale on roadside verges and will act if we find evidence that leads us to believe the legislation is being flouted. This requires the vehicles advertised for sale by the same trader to be within 500 metres of each other.

Two traders have been prosecuted.  Our Street Scene team will investigate any evidence of infringements provided by the public. They can be contacted by email: street.scene@wealden.gov.uk or telephone 01892 602735.

This is the way to assist our full time enforcement officers who have received up-to-date training and are properly supervised. They are best able to perform this demanding job.

regards.

Bob Standley

Damage to grass verges

Question

How can we stop people in Manor Way parking huge low loader lorries in the street. There are two of them and they chew up the grass & park in such a way, people have to walk in the road to get round them. It is not fair on other road users and of cause pedestrians & wheelchair users and young mums with buggies. They also wash the vehicles resulting in the grass banks becoming a sea of chewed up mud. Can you please sort this out?

Hazel Stainer

Answer

Dear Hazel Stainer,

 

Thank-you for contacting me about this.

I understand your concern re both the damage to the verges and also the safety risk when pedestrians are forced to detour into the road.

 The grass verges at Manor Way, Uckfield, are the responsibility of East Sussex County Council rather than the District Council and I have forwarded your e-mail to your County Councillor Claire Dowling

You can report the matter to the Police by telephoning their non-emergency number 101 or report obstructive parking to Operation Crackdown, which is a Sussex Police scheme. The website can be found at www.operationcrackdown.org.

 regards

Bob Standley





For information on any of the Ask The Leader questions listed please contact our Communications Officer on pr@wealden.gov.uk.