Point missed

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I write in reply to the letter from Bill Geddes which appeared in last week’s Herald.

Following my calls for a more proportional parking enforcement regime, Mr Geddes accuses me of encouraging people to act against the law.

This is untrue and I also would remind him that, in Worthing, parking enforcement was decriminalised several years ago.

He goes on to accuse me of calling for the sacking of parking wardens.

On that count my record shows that reductions in staff have been managed by natural wastage, retirements and redeployment over the past few years.

I am not calling for anyone to be sacked.

It seems Mr Geddes has missed the whole point I am trying to make.

Every other town in West Sussex appears to manage its parking with far less enforcement and charges.

Does he have any evidence that this approach causes problems elsewhere?

The arrangements for both on-street and off-street parking in Worthing were put in place prior to the start of my administration in 2009.

The long-term contracts for both are due to expire next year.

Whilst the interest of some may be served by the continuation of similar arrangements, I do not believe the current schemes serve the public interest.

The continued spread of the Controlled Parking Zones (CPZ) across the town simply shifts problems onto neighbouring streets.

If the CPZ continues to expand across the whole of Worthing the result will be yet more income for West Sussex County Council.

The British Retail Consortium have this week written to me and other civic leaders calling for a range of measures to protect high streets from further decline.

One of their key requests is that parking should be viewed as an attractor, not a revenue raiser.

It will be difficult to fully implement this call against a background of continued local government austerity.

However, it appears that a good deal of money paid for parking by motorists visiting our town is spent elsewhere.

That must not be allowed to continue unchallenged.

Paul Yallop

Worthing Council leader