Wealden District Council

Wealden acts on on-street car parking

Media Release : 17 March 2017

Wealden District Council is to work with East Sussex County Council to look at ways of enforcing on-street car parking in the District.

yellow lines

Wealden’s free parking policy in existing town and village car parks will remain unchanged, but Cabinet members agreed that a ‘do-nothing’ policy when it came to on-street parking enforcement in town centres was no longer acceptable to the public.
Council Leader Bob Standley said it was regrettable that Sussex Police, who are responsible for on-street parking in Wealden, had made it clear they would no longer enforce it, particularly as the amount of council tax precept the police received from Wealden was the second largest in Sussex.
“The Cabinet decision means we will look at all the options to enforce illegal on-street parking including whether this is funded by Wealden or the County Council,” said Cllr Standley.
“I have been assured by the Chief Constable that if we chose to decriminalise on-street parking, the police will allocate resources in enforcing on-street parking during the 18 months - 2 years while it is being set up.
“We will also talk to the towns and parishes on how any decriminalisation is introduced and the levels of enforcement required.
“I would like to make it very clear that I think our current off-street car parks should remain free at the point of delivery. Our high streets have been challenged in the last few years as shopping experiences change, and I don’t think we should be encouraging people to go to Eastbourne or Tunbridge Wells when our high streets are the centres of our communities.”
Wealden District Council has been working with towns and parishes to try to encourage motorists to obey parking rules by using posters and warning tickets.  This has had a positive short term effect, but Cabinet was not convinced it was a long term solution.
The Cabinet meeting on 8 March agreed to work with the County Council to examine ways of introducing parking enforcement that were acceptable to the Council. A further report is expected to be discussed by Cabinet later this year.
Members made it clear they did not want to see an option which involved placing parking meters along the high streets of Wealden’s towns. They also pointed out that enforcement measures may result in more car parking in residential areas which could lead to lead to residents requesting residential parking permits in those areas.
You can watch the Cabinet debate on on-street car parking enforcement online here: http://wealden.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/274678