Democracy4Bexhill urges town to support consultation

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The second phase of a consultation into the future on how Bexhill is governed starts next month.

Rother District Council’s Community Governance Review steering group met last Thursday (August 10) to decide on the next move.

But campaign group, Democracy4Bexhill (D4B) is annoyed after it said the authority refused an offer from the group to print and distribute the council’s own information on the consultation and returnable postcards for free.

Doug Oliver, chairman of D4B, said: “We just want to reach every resident of Bexhill, to make sure that everyone has a say on this important issue.

“Many people want to see a town council or other form of local democracy but Rother is clearly not keen on hearing their voices. We will now distribute information ourselves.”

D4B said Rother’s deputy leader Martin Kenward has made it clear an ‘overwhelming response’ is needed to persuade the authority to consider backing any change.

The campaign group said it is producing, printing and delivering explanatory literature to every household in Bexhill, a project entirely funded by donations from residents.

Rother’s six-week consultation starts on Friday, September 1 and ends on Friday, October 13.

People will be provided with four choices: no change, a Bexhill Town Council, an area committee made up of Bexhill councillors with no executive decision-making ability, or four parish councils splitting Bexhill into North, South, East and West.

Mr Oliver said: “We urge everyone who can to go to Rother’s website in September and make their views known.

“We think better local democracy offers exciting possibilities for Bexhill.”

A Rother District Council spokesman said: “A suggestion that D4B print and distribute information on the Bexhill governance review was made at the steering group meeting but this was not supported.”

Residents can find out more information about the Community Governance Review by visiting the council’s website at www.rother.gov.uk/CommunityGovernanceReview.

Bexhill is the only part of Rother not to have either a parish or town council.

A 4,000-strong petition from residents triggered the Community Governance Review.

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