A row has broken out after calls for a bye-law to ban pavement and kerb parking in Eastbourne were quashed.
Conservative and Liberal Democrat Borough councillors have locked horns over the Tory-proposed motion which was swept aside at full council this week.
The Conservative Group say the Lib Dem-led council are ‘missing a golden opportunity’ to help disabled residents and parents in town.
This comes after the motion, put forward by Conservative councillor Robert Smart, was amended at the meeting on Wednesday (May 9).
Conservative group leader Tony Freebody said, “The motion submitted by Robert would have enabled the most vulnerable people in our town to move freely without being hindered by cars parking on our pavements and it was a golden opportunity missed to do something positive in our town right now.
“As usual, when there is action to be taken, the Lib Dems do not want to take responsibility. They prefer to oppose or sit on their hands or pass the buck to others when it is in their gift to do something to help residents.
“They say they wish to wait for the Government’s current proposals on the matter, but why wait? People with disabilities, parents with push chairs and other vulnerable pedestrians should not have to put up with this any longer than necessary.
“The council could be at the forefront and have the courage to take bold steps.
“It’s a shame that not all councillors are courageous enough to make bold decisions.
“And what this means is that the most vulnerable people in our society have to live with cars blocking their way.”
But David Tutt, Lib Dem leader of the council, says the issue is not a borough council decision but a county one, and he argued that Conservative councillors should speak to their colleagues who run East Sussex County Council to enact real change.
Speaking to the Herald, Councillor Tutt said, “This is a piece of cynical electioneering.
“I think pavement parking should be banned but doing anything on a town-wide basis could be wasted because it could be spending public money on something the Government is going to tackle nationally.”
He said the problem has stemmed from the decriminalisation of parking back in 2008.
Councillor Tutt said, “It was made the responsibility of NSL, which the county council employ.
“That takes more than £2 million a year out of our local economy and it’s something I’m very unhappy with.”
Tutt said the county council should get a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) to help deal with the issue.
He said, “As a bye-law you can’t do this quickly. They are asking the wrong people to deal with this problem, they should be asking the Conservative-run county council.”
To read more about the issue, click here.