Rother set to launch Bexhill governance review

Bexhill Town Hall SUS-160804-165750001
Bexhill Town Hall SUS-160804-165750001

Bexhill is about to take one step closer to getting its own council.

Rother District Council is set to launch a Community Governance Review (CGR), following the receipt of a 3,816 signature strong petition last year.

Those behind the petition are calling on the local authority to establish an Area Committee for Bexhill, made up of the elected councillors for the nine wards in the town.

Rother’s Cabinet committee is to meet on Monday (September 5) to consider the next steps.

Council officers are recommending that a CGR Steering Committee is established, with a public consultation to be launched in January 2017, with the aim of completing the review within 12 months.

A report issued ahead of Monday’s meeting says: “Before making any recommendations or publishing final proposals, the council will take full account of the views of local people.

“At the conclusion of the review it remains open for the council to make a recommendation which is different to the outcome the petitioners wish the review to make.”

The report goes on to say that RDC will consult Bexhill residents, as well as all other parish and town councils within the district.

There is no requirement for RDC to hold a referendum on any proposals, but if it decides to do so, it will cost the council £40,000.

The cost of the review, including publicity materials, leaflets, posters and public meetings, is expected to cost the local authority between £10,000 and £20,000.

If an Area Committee or town council is created as a result of the review, RDC officers recommend the changes take effect from May 2019, to coincide with the next local elections.

The report warns: “The work involved and the potential cost of conducting a CGR is significant and should not be underestimated.

“The review will involve a number of teams within the authority, including programme office and policy (in terms of public consultation and project management), communications (consultation strategy), legal and finance and welfare (projected costs etc.).”

The meeting will take place on Monday at Bexhill Town Hall, London Road, from 11am.

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