Traffic wardens put off shoppers

SO three household name stores are to quit Hastings’ centrepiece shopping mall, the Priory Meadow Shopping Centre.

What a vindication of Hastings Borough Council’s parking policy of hounding visiting motorists. Only last week I watched a local tax gatherer issuing a ticket to a car in an otherwise empty car park at 9.10am on Saturday morning.

The unfortunate victim had probably had too much to drink the night before and done the sensible thing and left his car in the car park. Well that’s shown him. He won’t be doing that again, will he?

Unfortunately, he won’t be spending his money in the town’s pubs and clubs again either.

It would be interesting to know whether the council offered these shops a concession on their business rates. Obviously not 100 per cent rebate (that’s reserved for major visitor attractions like the Jerwood), but a more modest contribution might have helped.

Every ratepayer in Hastings should be alarmed at these developments because it only means one thing - your rates are going to have to go up to make good the shortfall. After all, councillors’ expenses must be paid, and council chiefs’ bonuses have to be funded from somewhere.

RICHARD LACEY

Harold Road