Residents voice calls for Bexhill to have its own council

Residents at the meeting
Residents at the meeting

Scores of residents voiced their wish to see a town council established in Bexhill at a meeting last Thursday (August 17).

More than 150 people packed into St Barnabas Church to air their views.

The second phase of a consultation into the future on how Bexhill is governed is due to start next week.

Rother District Council’s six-week consultation runs from next Friday (September 1) until 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.

Last Thursday’s meeting heard from Trevor Leggo, chief executive of Sussex & Surrey Associations of Local Councils; Richard Farhall, town clerk for Rye Town Council; East Sussex county councillor Stuart Earl; Independent Rother councillor Doug Oliver; Bexhill resident Julia Penfold and other residents asking questions from the floor.

Bexhill is the only part of the Rother district not to have either a parish nor town council. A 4,000-strong petition from residents triggered the Community Governance Review.

Robin Patten, independent chairman of the review’s steering group, said: “We want to hear from as many people as possible, including those who haven’t taken part in the first phase of the consultation.

“Residents will play a vital role in the second phase by giving their views on the options.

“In order to keep costs to a minimum, we are encouraging those that can respond online to do so.

“For those who can’t, information and response postcards are available from the council’s Community Help Point in Bexhill or by contacting their local councillor.”

He added: “As well as being effective and providing value for money, any arrangements which are introduced must represent the identity and the interests of people in Bexhill.”

Campaign group, Democracy4Bexhill (D4B) was left annoyed after it said Rother refused an offer from the group to print and distribute the council’s own information on the consultation and returnable postcards for free.

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

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