Once again failed to address

I WRITE further to the article in this week's Mercury regarding the poor parking contributing to the demise of Orchard Meadows and our decision to close our business upon the expiry of our current lease.

I WRITE further to the article in this week's Mercury regarding the poor parking contributing to the demise of Orchard Meadows and our decision to close our business upon the expiry of our current lease.

Councillor Ap Rees' says: "As we have literally just reviewed all the parking orders in the town to ensure the police can properly enforce them, this notice seems a little premature." - Whilst I acknowledge that the new road markings and signage now clarify the parking situation in the town, I had meetings in May 2006 with North Somerset officials regarding this signage and marking issue in the Orchard Meadows area. For the council to take over three-and-a-half years to address the issue hardly justifies the comment that my notice is premature.

Cllr Ap Rees also states that "the town centre has ample parking as long as people obey the rules". This highlights the major issue which both he and the police have once again failed to address. Who is going to enforce the parking orders in the town on a regular basis?

Since traffic wardens were abolished in 2005 the police have repeatedly stated that they do not have the resources to commit officers or PCSOs to permanent regular parking duties - at best all they are able to do is have a purge for a few days. Also, they claim that it is North Somerset Council which should now be enforcing the parking restrictions. Under the decriminalised parking enforcement bill, most local authorities in the country have already assumed these responsibilities - but to date we are still waiting for North Somerset Council to act. Until such time as the council appoint "traffic wardens" the town centre will continue to be a parking free for all.


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Unless Cllr Ap Rees can tell us that the council has put the necessary enforcement measures in place or the Police are going to enforce the parking restrictions on a full time basis I stand by my statement that the authorities have contributed to the decline of the town centre as a shopping area and will continue to do so until this long standing issue is resolved.

KEN EVERARD

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