The Town Manager’s

Since it’s a little while since “Rye’s Own” had an update on my activities, I thought I’d give readers a potted version of my last three monthly report, for the February Issue.

We got the 2004 Rye Guide out in record time this year (published just before Christmas). 25,000 copies will be kept at the Rye T.I.C, and 95,000 will be distributed throughout the South-East. We re-vamped all the accommodation lay-out to make it easier to read for the visitor. (And please note the “star picture” again on Page 13 is the “Rye’s Own dog Asti)

Work is starting now on a multi-lingual guide for Rye (French, German and Dutch).

We have re-joined “Sussex Top Attractions” again for Rye, after a lapse of some years. “STA” prints 1,000,000 copies of its annual brochure, and also makes sure that it attends the major tourism events and fairs on our behalf. We have also joined “Assn. of Tourist Attractions in Kent” or “ATAK”. We will also benefit from both these Association’s websites.

Our own, official, www.visitrye received a staggering 1,000,000 “hits” between January and November, 2003; and we have invested substantially in this site, both in its search-engine performance, and in adding more “key words”. Joanna Arkley does sterling work on this for us.

“Sussex Life” did a terrific article about the town “Catching up with Rye” in its December, 2003 edition.

Our Schedule of Empty Shops registered 12 vacant premises in September, 2003, compared to 22 empty premises in August, 2002.

We assisted Rye Chamber of Commerce’s Christmas Committee by commissioning and erecting two “Shop in Rye for Christmas” boards on the A259 to the East and West of the town; and also paid for four “Christmassystyle” advertisements in the weekly “Wealden Advertiser” on the run-up to Christmas, encouraging its readers to come to Rye for Christmas shopping and Christmas Fayre.

I assisted East Sussex County Council Highways Dept. in their “Rye Steps Forward” Exhibition in November at the F.E. Centre – and we continued carrying the exhibition material and comments forms here at the Partnership offices until Christmas. Hopefully, this will lead to some much-need -mainly pedestrian – improvements to our town.

Working with ESCC and The Highways Agency, we also finalised the sites for the four new “Welcome to Rye” roadsigns, which will hopefully be in place in the Spring; and we also finalised 12 sites within the town for proposed new cycle-racks.

ESCC has now also formally adopted the Gibbet Marsh carpark lighting – and so I now actually have a number to ring whenever the lights fail! We are also working on the many necessary details to have Gibbet Marsh designated as the “official” visitor car-park for Rye – we still have a little way to go on this.

Your readers may well remember our “Pride in Rye” week which took place in July last year. In 2004, it will take place again, but in the week of 26th April. Because Rye has been invited to enter the prestigious “Britain in Bloom” competition after its success in the South East in Bloom in 2003, I know that our Pride in Rye Committee is keen to give every support to the Rye in Bloom Committee in the Britain in Bloom competition.

Town Manager Yolanda Laybourne
Town Manager
Yolanda Laybourne

Rye’s Own February 2004

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