Parking problems continue in Newton Stewart

Daytime parking in Victoria Street is always at a premium
Daytime parking in Victoria Street is always at a premium

Vehicles belonging to staff working in shops and offices in Newton Stewart are still cluttering up the main street, blocking parking spaces for up to nine hours, Cree Valley Community Council heard this week.

At the monthly meeting in the McMillan Hall on Monday evening, member David Inglis said that he had been given a list of 20 registrations of regular offenders and, although he had assurances from police that they would be spoken to if they continued to park in the main street all day and that parking tickets would be issued, it was still happening.

Sergeant Colin Scott, who was attending the meeting on behalf of Police Scotland, said that an officer had gone round the shops in the main thoroughfare and spoken to shop owners about the problem.

Mr Inglis, who also serves as a councillor in Mid Galloway and Wigtown West said any action taken by the police so far to resolve the situation had little effect.

He said: “People can’t park to do their shopping. The police need to do more random traffic patrols.”

The Cree Valley Community Council are keen to take on the role of the Newton Stewart Business Association until the organisation can find a new committee.

CVCC member David Inglis said there was a need to “raise the profile” of the business association a bit more, while fellow member Antony Berretti commented that a good chairman was fundamental to the success of volunteer organisations.

Douglas Ewart High School pupils should be recruited to help the older generation get to grips with the internet age, and in particular, recognising scams on their computers.

The issue was highlighted at the meeting by Sergeant Scott who told the members of residents contacting the police after receiving online messages from scammers posing as HMRC demanding money with the added threat of legal action if they didn’t pay up. Mr Berretti suggested to the police officer that it would help then get the message across to a wider audience if school children were recruited to teach their family members who might be targeted by criminals how to spot online scams. He suggested that a youth group could take this issue on and report back to the community council on their progress.

Cars backfiring and noisy exhausts continue to be a problem in the streets of Newton Stewart. CVCC members Ken Barlow and Jim Brown both had personal issues with anti-social drivers in the town and wanted the police to target drivers who had modified their exhausts to check if they were legal.

Sergeant Scott said he was well aware of this issue as he had also received complaints from members of the public about noisy cars, but Jim Brown said a more forceful approach was needed to deal with “repeat offenders” with monthly checks done. Mr Brown said: “We have had reports back from officers to say they have targeted this and it’s ‘went away’, but if people are telling you it’s a problem then it obviously is and it’s time to get something done about it. I’ve driven all over the country an Newton Stewart is easily the worst I have ever seen.”