Town Crier

                            EEC OUT – ROTHER OUT

We all thought a ‘common market’ would be a good idea. We could trade throughout Europe with ease. There would be no borders and a ‘free marketing area’ would make for easier trade.

How wrong we were. The ‘common market’ was just the thin end of a wedge that will lead to a Federal Europe and the ‘free trade’ became so cluttered with restrictions and paperwork and so expensive to manage that it ended up far from ‘free’.

The rules were bent so far in favour of French farmers and fishermen it put many of those in the U.K. out of business. We abided by all the silly rules and regulations, the French complied as and when it suited them.

Britain, along with Germany and Holland became the only three ‘net contributing countries’. This means we pay in far more than we get out.

Now there is a cobbled up ‘Treaty’ covering all twenty-five member countries that make up the proposed new community. We are told we cannot survive without Europe, when, in reality Europe cannot survive without us. They want our cash in the same way as Rother District Council wants Rye’s cash. They want to take £10 and give us back £5.

Soon there will be a referendum on Europe, it will be put in such terms as to make it seem a desirable thing to say yes! But as a famous politician once said, “You can fool all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time but not all of the people all of the time”, as was shown by the result of the recent European Election. A poll on National Television asking the public for a yes or no on leaving the EEC altogether, resulted in a 62% vote in favour of coming out of Europe completely!

There is no reason why we cannot continue trading with Europe if we do come out, in fact it would be far from the interests of European countries to put up trade barriers against us.

We have seen cases of British shopkeepers being criminalised for refusing to sell meat and veg. by the kilo rather than the lb. Rye fisherman have watched French and Spanish boats drag enormous beam trawls through their traditional fishing waters, decimating stocks and breeding grounds taking fish of every size without regard to regulations, while they themselves have been heavily punished for landing even one undersized fish that got caught by its gills in their regulation nets.

Whatever our individual politics we are British first. Let us stay British and retain sovereignty of our Parliament. Let us keep calling a pound a pound . Let us be rid of two wasteful nests of paper pushers – those in Brussels and those in Bexhill. Let Parliament rule Britain and let Rye govern Rye.

                                A Noise in the Night

I was awoken at one in the morning by strange noises in the car park behind our house. Someone repairing a car perhaps? The noises continued and there were two voices at one point. Trees obscure the view but I thought I heard a faint tinkle of glass. Could it be a car being broken into?

Now in the ‘old days’ at this point I would have dialled 2112 and got Rye Police Station. Officers would have been there in seconds to investigate. Now I was caught in a quandary, should I dial 999 and perhaps draw a car from a more serious incident many miles away?

I decided to go and have a look myself, got dressed and drove around to the car park where I found a car with its window broken. A device to prevent a lot of noise had been used. No sign of anyone here, they would have run off into the bushes behind as soon as they saw my lights.

I drove round to the footpath exit and sure enough there were two persons walking away from there. They may have come from the footpath and been involved with the window smashing or they may have been on their way home from an innocent night out. Now if I had been a policeman from Rye I would have been able to stop and ask questions. All I could do was phone the police when I got back home and give a description.

The lady I got hold of on the 0818 number was very efficient, I could hear her tapping in all the details on her computer. I later learned that some items were stolen from the vehicle. We know the police are very busy these days but surely, common sense must dictate that men are dispersed around the towns and villages as they were in days gone by.

As I have said many times before Rye Police Station should be manned and open 24 hours a day with a direct phone number known to the public. There should also be officers available in the town day and night who can respond to incidents.

I do not believe there is a shortage of police officers. Rye had fortynine based in the town and immediate villages in 1970 and as keeps telling us “The are a record number of police officers employed today”. There are plenty of police officers and equipment available but centralisation has resulted in availability not being in the right places. Paperwork has bogged the force down, police who should be out in the field are stuck in offices filling in forms. It seems that these days four policemen are covering the ground of one in the past.

A lot of this is not the fault of the police. The criminal justice system is now so complicated that the smallest mistake made in taking a statement or dealing with a suspect can lead to the case not being brought to court or resulting in no conviction.

Despite all other problems however, the basic fault remains centralisation. Spread the force over the whole community, open the closed and partly closed police stations, get a constable back in every village, get men on the beat again and watch crime fall. If you don’t believe me, ask any excopper, to a man, they will tell you the old system worked.

Winston Churchill once said “Beware of those who do not learn from the past. Protect us from new ideas that do not work”.

There are some really great policemen operating in this area, I saw an instance of one such constable dealing with a sudden death earlier this month. He was most kind and considerate to the bereaved, nothing was too much trouble. Men like these do their job with quiet efficiency and are a credit to the force .

Other promising signs are the small but significant extra police presence in the town and the decrease in Rye crimes on the e-mail Neighbourhood Watch lists. Let us hope that this is a good omen for the future.

              Is there no End to it?

Rye Bowls Club comprises a cross section of mainly retired local people, many of whom have been a great asset to this town. They have a good bowling green set on the edge of the Town Salts next to the Bedford Place Car Park. They have many matches throughout the season against clubs from all round the district. An idyllic set up, but unfortunately there is an ongoing problem, car parking. When they visit other clubs car parking is free but parking in Rye is another problem. The Bedford Place Car Park is more often than not full and very expensive. The nearest parking space available is frequently as far away as the Market Car Park.

Now I understood that the Salts was left to the people of Rye in perpetuity for recreational purposes. So why can’t the Club use the area at the rear of the toilets for their guests to park just four cars on match days?

The answer to this is Rother District Council. They have had the cheek to refuse a request by Rye Bowls Club to allow such a thing? Might damage the grass? They allow the Fun Fair with all its heavy lorries and plant, but not a few cars!

The area could be taped off on match days and controlled by club members to ensure that there is no unauthorised parking. What is the world coming to when we cannot look after a group of such worthy Rye citizens? Come on Rye Council, the time has come for a war of words with Rother over this issue. Don’t take no for an answer.

                        Well Done Partnership

Well done Rye Partnership for the efforts put in to publicise Rye over the past months, especially to the Town Manager for her new ideas and initiatives. Yolanda Laybourne is a great asset to Rye.

The small piece of ground that Rye Bowls Club want to use for car parking on match days.

From “Rye’s Own “July 2004

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