Majority of Bexhill political consultation respondents support change

Rother District Council is currently consulting on Bexhill's political future SUS-160623-112311001
Rother District Council is currently consulting on Bexhill's political future SUS-160623-112311001

A clear majority of those residents who have responded to the consultation on how Bexhill is governed have said they want change.

Democracy4Bexhill found more than 90 per cent of the responses published on the council website up to March 3, say they want decisions taken either by a town council or an area committee, and not by Rother District Council.

Many respondents felt it was unfair Bexhill is the only part of the district without a town or parish council.

Some expressed concern decisions regarding Bexhill are taken by councillors who neither live nor represent wards in the town.

Most felt their views were ‘ignored’ and the present system gave them little or no influence on what happened in Bexhill.

To address this, 102 of the respondents want a town council while 22 would prefer an area committee.

Many of those who wanted a town council said a its ability to raise its own funds and its greater independence from Rother made this a better option than an area committee.

The remainder were yet to decide which option they preferred but were adamant they wanted some form of local decision-making body.

Support for change came not only from Bexhill residents but also from people in other parts of Rother district with experience of living in areas with a town or parish council who felt Bexhill should also have its own council.

Independent councillor Doug Oliver said: “There is clearly a lot of interest and some strongly held views on how Bexhill is governed and I would urge residents to make their views known to Rother council online at www.rother.gov.uk/CommunityGovernanceReview or by picking up a response form from the town hall.

“Residents wanting more information or help in making their response can email democracy4bexhill@gmail.com, phone 07917 845737 or write to D4B, 11 Brockley Road, Bexhill-on-Sea TN39 2HA.”

All the responses made so far can be viewed on the website and these responses and all others received by March 31, will be used by Rother as a basis for stage two of the review process.

Following completion of the first stage, a series of draft proposals will be published which will be subject to further consultation later in the year before a final decision is taken by full council in December.

Rother deputy leader and cabinet member for Bexhill affairs Martin Kenward said: “Details of the responses so far are available to view on our website and it is important that as many people as possible share their views during the process.

“Even if you are happy with the current governance, I would urge you to take a few minutes to tell us what you think.”

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