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Ask the Leader

The Leader of Wealden District Council is Councillor Bob Standley. He will be pleased to answer any question you may have about Wealden District Council's policies, or other matters involving the Council, which you think are of interest to people living, working or visiting Wealden.

To ask your question, please use our or Ask the Leader - Submit a Question Form

Councillor Standley is the Conservative Leader of the Cabinet of Wealden District Council and has represented Wadhurst since 2004.

Specific inquiries about particular services such as planning applications, licensing or accommodation can be reported online. Please use our 'directory of tasks on online services' to find the appropriate form. You can also email

We will try to respond within ten working days of receiving your question and your question and the Leader's reply will then be posted on the website. Please provide your name, we don't need your address. If we think the question is inappropriate for publication we will contact you by email to say why.

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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.

Notification of a planning consultation


Dear Sir Central Grill, High Street, Wadhurst:application for extension of opening hours I refer to the above and write, a) as a complaint b) a request for an explanation. I am informed by my neighbour that they have received notification re; the above. I am very concerned that I have not had the same notification. Your records should show that on 2 previous planning applications I also complained about not being notified, your staff on each occasion assured me they would look into this and ensure, where applicable I would be notified of any future applications. Obviously, since I am writing to you nothing has changed. I would also mention that when the Central Grill applied for change of use, your failure to notify me resulted in my missing the Parish council meeting, my objections were therefore not taken into account, it also meant my objections to the planning committee Wealden District had to be submitted within a very short time, I was not allowed enough time to consider and research in-depth a structured objection. I request therefore, in consideration of the aforementioned, you instruct your staff to provide me with the relevant notification, and, ensure that the date for objections is extended to give me the same time opportunity as other, effected by this proposed extension of opening hours. An explanation, as to why your are still failing to notify me of relevant planning applications, and, what you propose to do to ensure this will not happen again. I look forward to your very early response and immediate receipt of the relevant notification. Yours faithfully R P Gregory


Dear Mr Gregory, I am sorry for the oversight you have experienced. I understand that after you raised the matter with us, our planning department immediately contacted you and provided you with email access to take part in the consultation. You have been allowed the statutory 21 day period to make you views known. I have made enquiries as to how the oversight arose. It would seem that record of your previous objection was deleted, in error, and therefore you were not included in the latest circulation. Whilst this was possibly due to the similarity of the applicant’s address and your own, the oversight should not have occurred and please accept my own and the Council’s apology. Your comments will be taken into account when the application is decided. Regards Bob Standley.

Discount car parking charges for residents


Dear Sir, Parking charges have already risen by 50% in Pevensey Bay the last 12 months with the possible introduction of pay by phone parking at this and other sites do you not think it would be beneficial to introduce a discounted scheme for local residents/rate payers for these car parks both on and off street especially for the elderly /disabled & retired? I do believe particularly the elderly are really going to struggle with this new system. You seem more concerned with concentrating on revenue stream from visitors rather than value for money for local ratepayers. Mr A J Pink


Dear Mr Pink Thank-you for your enquiry. Last year was the first time the parking charges in Pevensey had been increased for over 10 years and whilst increases are kept to a minimum, they are necessary from time to time. The car parks in Pevensey are run in conjunction with the Parish Council who agreed to the increased charges. A section of the car park remains free for periods of up to one hour, and there is no charging at Pevensey’s other car park in North Road. The majority of car parking provided by Wealden District is free at the point of delivery as we believe it helps both local businesses and employees who need to drive work. The additional pressure on space from tourists in Pevensey Bay and Alfriston resulted in a decision, some years ago, to implement a pay and display policy. In Pevensey Bay this is only in operation from 1 March to 30 September each year with the rest of year free of charges. There are no plans to introduce car park payment by phone given the very few car parks that have any charges at all. Wealden District council is only responsible for off-street car parking with on–street the responsibility of Sussex Police. The Council believe the current arrangements are a good balance between the requirements of local residents and ensuring visitors make a contribution to the upkeep of the local facilities. I trust this answers your questions Regards Bob Standley

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