Launch event for democracy group

Bexhill Town Hall SUS-160623-112311001

Bexhill Town Hall SUS-160623-112311001

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A campaign to promote the forthcoming review into how Bexhill is governed and make sure it is conducted in a fair, open and transparent way was launched on Tuesday.

A crowd of more than 100 people heard speakers from a range of political backgrounds set out why the community governance review is a ‘once in a generation chance’ to decide how Bexhill is governed, at St John’s Centre.

Independent councillor Stuart Earl outlined the history of why Bexhill doesn’t have its own town council but Battle and Rye do.

Bexhill is currently governed by Rother District Council, where Bexhill has 18 councillors out of 38. However, Cllr Earl was quick to stress that Democracy4Bexhill is not calling for ‘bexit’ from Rother but, for where it makes sense, for ‘Bexhill people to decide how their town is run’.

Diane Smith, a prominent Liberal Democrat campaigner set out the timetable for the governance review and why it’s in two parts. She urged people to go to Rother’s website and register to take part in the public consultation.

She said as a campaign group, residents need to wait to see what Rother will publish in relation to the options but warned that ‘we will be watching to make sure that the information is fairly presented’.

Finally local Labour Party vice-chairman Christine Bayliss addressed the meeting on why residents need a campaign and what people can do to help. She stressed that Democracy4Bexhill isn’t campaigning for a particular outcome but to ensure that residents get as many people involved in the review as possible, that it is impartial and that the final options are put to the people of Bexhill in a referendum.

“So far, the controlling group on Rother group have announced that they will vote against a Bexhill Town Council. They voted against holding steering group meetings in public and have appointed one of their ex-councillors as an independent chair of the review. This looks like a stitch up that we want to unpick,” she said.

Democracy4Bexhill asked supporters for help in raising awareness of the opportunity to fill the democratic deficit in Bexhill.

If you were unable to attend the launch event but would like to know more you can email democracy4bexhill@gmail.com or phone 01424 218250 or 07917 845737.

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