Lewes Forum thread

Go on, tell 'em what you think

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On 8 Jan 2009 at 9:41am Michael Price wrote:
Late in 2008 I parked at The Needlemakers. I paid and displayed but the ticket fell off. I received a fine of £25 despite proving that I paid by producing the ticket. I will never shop in Lewes again. I wrote to various including Paul Crawford of LDC who has not even had the courtesy to reply. I WILL NOT SHOP IN LEWES AGAIN.
On 8 Jan 2009 at 9:47am fire wrote:
i pointed out about a year ago lewes will become a gost town in years to come. Due to the parking OUT OF TOWN
On 8 Jan 2009 at 11:39am Merlin Milner wrote:
I assume that you appealed and lost via the details supplied on your ticket. Although the off-street parking is owned by the District Council the scheme is run by East Sussex County Council via NCP. Contact me if you like, I am a Town Councillor, and will try and look into it. 488645
On 8 Jan 2009 at 4:50pm I dont live in lewes anymore wrote:
Praise where it's due Merlin. Unlike most other councillors(no matter Town/District or County) you have the balls to stick your head above the parapet and offer to do something.
Well done you.
Respect man!
On 8 Jan 2009 at 7:51pm Finbarr wrote:
Good on you MM - If only more in your position could display your spink and balls - 10 out of 10 - could well be the post of the year on this forum - certainly the post of the month...
On 8 Jan 2009 at 9:00pm Spinster Of This Parish wrote:
Merlin is a great councillor and a great chap too - he has been very helpful to me (and my cause) in the past.
Hoorah for Merlin!
On 8 Jan 2009 at 9:54pm Rooferman wrote:
I am present appealing a second time against an unjust ticket. When is this town going to wake up against this over zealous scheme !! It may make NCP a few quid, but the wider implications are obvious !!
A fellow builder was issued a ticket when his valid permit curled up in the hot sun-did he win his appeal ? -what do you think !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
On 9 Jan 2009 at 8:52am The Tooth Fairy wrote:
The first stage appeal is with a stooge from ESCC. You are very unlikely to win this. You then have to wait until they write to you asking for the full amount. You can then appeal to an independant body. If the ticket is unfair then your chances are much better at this stage.
As there is a 50% discount available if you pay within a set time, most people grin and bare it and pay up. ESCC are well aware of this so decline most first stage appeals. If you lose at this stage then you have to pay the lot. But remember, it's already cost you £25 wether you appealed or not, so it's 25 (ie the full amount) You are fighting for.
Don't go to the second stage if the ticket is 'bang to rights', as you will be wasting your money.
I appeal to the first stage on every ticket regardless. Petty I know, but it gives me the satisfaction of creating more paperwork for ESCC.
On 9 Jan 2009 at 8:59am The Tooth Fairy wrote:
I've stated above 'Don't go to the second stage if the ticket is 'bang to rights', as you will be wasting your money'
The appeals process is free, so it shoud read 'wasting your TIME'
On 9 Jan 2009 at 10:01am sashimi wrote:
OK, so Merlin deserves an OBE for his hard work campaigning against the parking scheme - and for being the only town councillor who gives out his phone number. The parking scheme was introduced by ESCC with the wholehearted consent of the LibDem controlled District Council. Do LDC have the power to withdraw their consent and get the scheme radically revised? It's tempting to say "I told you so" as I said at the time the scheme was too complicated, with overlong hours, expensive, over-manned and we'd be better off with the informal chaos that preceded it than wirth a 14 year old half baked attempt by wonks at County Hall to rationalise a mediaevel traffic system. Ok, so I was tempted. But there's no reason why those who introduced it thinking it was the answer (when it wasn't) shouldn't now change their minds. So, Mr Milner, what are your lot going to do about putting it right?
On 9 Jan 2009 at 11:04am Frak wrote:
The tooth fairy said
"I appeal to the first stage on every ticket regardless. Petty I know, but it gives me the satisfaction of creating more paperwork for ESCC."
Surely this just means the council will be wasting time and money doing pointless paperwork because he/she couldn't be bothered to park properly, meaning they are more likely to be hard on other people to recoup that money wasted. Surely if a ticket is unfair, appeal. If it is not, you only have yourself to blame.
On 9 Jan 2009 at 11:43am Sylvia wrote:
Councillors don't need to give any phone numbers out. They're all availabletothe public anyway, the district and councty council ones are all on their websites, for anyone to find. They are obliged to make themselves available to their electorate. In my experience, most will try to help, if you bother to contact them directly.
On 9 Jan 2009 at 12:39pm I dont live in lewes anymore wrote:
Sashimi...I don't think that you are doing yourself any favours in your half-ersed veiled attempt at besmirching Merlin.
Many Councillors from differing parties put their thumbs up to the parking scheme (The Lewes Joint Parking Board, comprised representatives of the County and District Councils + the Chamber of Commerce). Truth is it was sold to residents and councillors alike as something it wasn't.
Could I take this opportunity in pointing you in the direction of a Councillor Matthew Lock (Con - - merchant), Lead Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment who iby his actions is a great fan of the scheme in Lewes, and, if he has his undemocratic way (don't let the public vote on it) other towns where there may be a dime to be made.
On 9 Jan 2009 at 12:39pm Lewes Laugher wrote:
Is this another message from the LDC pr office? In my experience councillors ignore you as much as they can get away with.
On 9 Jan 2009 at 1:22pm Merlin Milner wrote:
Thank you "I don't live in lewes anymore" for your typical balanced view. I personally have been in the press a number of times regarding the scheme; meter insurance, survey and general comments. I managed to get a copy of the contract from ESCC and all the minutes of the parking board via freedom of information (it took longer that it supposed to ). I also have one outstanding freedom of information query and that is proving difficult to get the information. Also Town Council has has had meeting with ESCC about the scheme and we have let them know our strong feelings.
Norman Baker has been very helpful in moderating some aspects of the scheme but we have to remember that ESCC are the main drivers and they dictate to NCP the policy. I agree that LDC do play a part but it is ESCC and in particular are looking at all East Sussex, first Hastings, then Lewes, then Eastbourne..... So Mr Locke is the man responisble and therefore at May's County elections tell your freinds outside Lewes not to vote Tory!
On 9 Jan 2009 at 3:47pm sashimi wrote:
Merlin, I've no quarrel with your campaign against the worst aspects of this disgraceful scheme which you personally had no hand in introducing. But you can't blame this on the Tories. The half-baked scheme was voted in by Tory, Lib Dem and Labour councillors all of whom endorsed it enthusiastically. The scheme could not have been introduced without the consent of LibDem controlled LDC who used the opportunity to quadruple the rates for off street parking. Eastbourne, if you remember refused to let ESCC proceed with their scheme. My question is what do your colleagues who control LDC intend to do about it? Will they drop their off street rates encourage shoppers to return? Do they have the power to cancel the current scheme - or at least to amend it so that it doesn't apply before 9 or after 5 on weekdays, or after 12 on Saturdays or at all on bank holidays? Can they get the notices made larger, and the regime and zones simplified? You are not an independent like Ruth who can say what she likes but get very little done. You are a member of the majority party and you are responsible for their bad decisions as well as having a better chance than the rest of us to change things.
On 9 Jan 2009 at 4:44pm Merlin Milner wrote:
My Tardis is broken so I cannot go back in time and also I am only a Town Councillor and not responsible for other Council's descions. Also I have campaigned about ALL aspects of the scheme not just certain aspects. However we are where we are now and the ball is predominantly in ESCC's court at present and the best chance of changing the schemes is by changing the County Council in May across the WHOLE county.
Your comment about Eastbourne Borough Council is true but they failed unfortunately and that is the rub.
On 9 Jan 2009 at 5:20pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
"The first stage appeal is with a stooge from ESCC. You are very unlikely to win this. "
I beg to differ, Tooth Fairy. I've appealed 5, won 5. I've only paid one ticket, and they had me bang to rights (although I couldn't reasonably have foreseen that getting my hair cut would take twice as long as usual - perhaps I should have appealed that one too!)
On 9 Jan 2009 at 7:06pm Stargazer wrote:
Paul Crawford does not work for LDC. Check your facts.
On 9 Jan 2009 at 7:09pm john wrote:
On 9 Jan 2009 at 7:23pm post at the bottom ARS*GAZER and DONG wrote:
EXTREMELY Angry of Lewes (Retd)
On 9 Jan 2009 at 7:40pm Loser wrote:
On 10 Jan 2009 at 9:12am Merlin Milner wrote:
Stargazer please post at the bottom the threads please.
Paul Crawford is the parking manager at ESCC. John Crawford is the Chief Executive at LDC. I assume that Michael Price meant ESCC.
On 10 Jan 2009 at 9:29am Angry of Lewes (Retd) wrote:
good comment MM - couldn't agree more
when is this dreadful NCP contract up for renewal - can this forum not get a committe together to make some SENSIBLE suggestions to amend it that will make a move to a more acceptable scheme overall?
Small steps can make great changes
Look at the ants in Bug's Life!!
We should stop whingeing about what we ALL know is a draconian money spinner - it is credit crunch time if they need the contract (which they will) then lets attempt to make it a little more acceptable - to US AND (for example) renewable evry year so it can be tweaked again and again and again
Ford Every stream
Fol-low Every Byway
yes matron I'm coming...
On 10 Jan 2009 at 5:56pm sashimi wrote:
Angry of Lewes, LDC makes money on the off-street parking which is why they signed up to ESCC's on-street scheme. The on-street scheme loses the Council money because of the high cost of vandalism - but NCP take their cut off the top so they are laughing. Merlin, we are, as you say, where we are because your party colleagues got us there. What is the LibDem plan to get us out of this hole? If you have a strategy, let's hear it. If it's just bluff and bluster - and blame the Tories, forget it.
On 10 Jan 2009 at 10:51pm Merlin Milner wrote:
Read my earlier posts about what I am doing personally and understand my sentiments. May is only a few months away and a change at ESCC is a swift way to change things. This is not bluff or bluster just the plain truth. If you want to discuss LDC I suggest that you talk with Ann de Vecchi and report back.
On 11 Jan 2009 at 11:14am sashimi wrote:
Merlin, you have given us a checklist of all the items you think need addressing. Now please tell us what the Lib Dems have actually agreed to do. A good starting point might be to begin by saying: "Sorry". I'm not quite sure why I am supposed to speak to Ann de Vecchi about this rather than you - unless you have fallen out wirth her. Have you?
On 11 Jan 2009 at 11:42am Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
Sadly, I don't think people in Lewes can do much to change things at ESCC, as all the Lewes seats are Liberal-held and the council is Tory. The people in the surrounding villages seem to be voting with their feet and not coming to shop in Lewes. I don't know if their disgruntlement might persuade them to vote differently at the election.
Digressing slightly, someone told me the other day that plans to intorduce a similar scheme in Seaford have been dropped. A cyncial person might thank that's connected with the fact that Seaford has a Tory county councillor in one of its wards, and they don't want to risk losing that seat by doing something unpopular.
On 11 Jan 2009 at 1:13pm Merlin Milner wrote:
Dear Sashimi
In this tread I have spoken as myself and as chair of the LTC traffic working party (this includes parking). I am not a District Councillor, nor on the joint parking board, nor on any Lib Dem party committees and therefore cannot speak on their behalf. My suggestion of you talking with LDC is so you can get info from the horses mouth rather than drawing me into your politiking. I have not fallen out with anyone, have you?
I have been open about my views, tried to change things but I have to still say that ESCC are the body that holds the power in this matter and I am trying to be partisan about this.
Perhaps it is time that you reveal who you are and also explain what you achieved or tried to do to make parking better in Lewes.
On 12 Jan 2009 at 11:21am sashimi wrote:
Dear Merlin, I am not trying to make trouble for you but this is like trying to nail jelly to a tree. You are asking us to vote for a LibDem council in May because they will sort out the parking mess in Lewes. Plan A introduced by ESCC and LDC with support from all three parties hasn't worked. So what exactly is Plan B? A really smart proposal might just clinch it. But, it appears you can't tell us because parking in Lewes is no business of an ex-Mayor of Lewes who is Chair of Traffic!
On 12 Jan 2009 at 12:22pm Merlin Milner wrote:
There is no Borough Council anymore and you can blame Labour and the Tories for that for the 1972 Act. I am a Town Councillor and I am doing as much as I can. So direct your comments to Cllr Locke & co.
Explain what you achieved or tried to do to make parking better in Lewes.
Shall I reveal who you are??
On 12 Jan 2009 at 12:37pm sashimi wrote:
Let's leave it there, Merlin. I was in the resistance movement to the parking scheme (not the explosive section). We opposed the scheme because we thought it was unworkable. How right we were. All I achived was an apology from ESCC for failing to register my subsequent complaint properly.
On 12 Jan 2009 at 8:03pm Interested NCP employee wrote:
As I'm sure ur all aware the reason NCP have the contract because it was the best deal at the time, also most councils that have contracted parking out do not and most likely will not control it themselves because it gives them someone else to blame therefore protecting their votes. Also it is not that NCP CEO's are evil and go for everything, the councils tell them what to do, they are the one's in control (facedown disabled badges, improperly scratched off permits, 5mins, Out of bay, etc). Also having worked on-street in Lewes as a CEO, the majority of people I met and talked to would be happy to see us, this is again confimed by the amount of phone calls recieved at the parking shop telling of bad parking (grassing). I have no shame enforcing civil law and have alot of respect for the poor CEO's out there on-street (who also, i'd like to mention saved a man who tripped in the bottle kneck and split his head open within the last month but does the sussex express mention this, course not). O and something else, if NCP do loose the contract, what do you think will happen, most companies will employ the same workforce to save training costs (yes, things may change in management but ESCC and LDC are the controllers of the scheme (as mentioned above) so not much change then). NCP makes no commission, it's a flat rate from the councils. xXxXx
On 13 Jan 2009 at 8:26am Merlin Milner wrote:
Mostly agree however if I would find it difficult to enforce elements of the scheme if I disagreed with it. When you say best deal that is open to interpretation. The contract reflects much of what you say. My gripe is with ESCC dominated policy. The parking department is run from ESCC and they determine when CEOs go out etc.
However NCP and its CEOs are the public face of this scheme and therefore gets the flack. When I witness some of the pettyness of the scheme it is now wonder that CEOs get stick. That is why we have to focus upon those who are running it if we want change.
On 13 Jan 2009 at 6:58pm Geoff wrote:
There is a parking review due soon, and we can only hope that everyone, including the Lib Dems, will explain in a consultation what it is exactly they think is wrong with it, and what changes they wish to see. The thing is a hopeless mess, but saying that it is, does not change it. I am afraid i have little confidence in the Lib Dems, or indeed any of the other political parties to do anything about the scheme. I can't help but wonder why LDC endorsed it in the first place when the consultation was so flawed.

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