Not the time for street parties yet

Bexhill Observer letters
Bexhill Observer letters

From: Dr Barry Snape, Mayo Lane, Bexhill

The Stage 1 Public Consultation period of the Community Governance Review closed on Friday,

March 31, 2017.

A glance through the many hundreds of representations shown on the RDC website reveals an overwhelming majority in favour of restoring the Bexhill Town Council taken away in the coup d’état of 1974, despite the survey having been weighted in favour of an Area Committee.

A further striking feature of the feedback is the high proportion of responders who commented to the effect that Rother District Council does not listen to the concerns of Bexhill residents, much less act upon those concerns.

This came as a huge personal relief, as I was beginning to think that it was just me that RDC did not like.

This is not yet the time for planning the street parties, however. The review process is a game of two halves, and we will all need to roll down our socks, cast aside our shin-pads, and grind out a win in Stage 2, if we are to lift the trophy we have set our hearts and minds upon.

Meanwhile, I should like to make a couple of suggestions aimed at improving the probity and transparency of the process, moving forward.

Firstly, I should like to suggest that the “Steering Group” now changes its name, given that Bexhill taxpayers have signalled that they are not willing to be “steered” in any particularly direction. I recognise that “Rexit Committee” might be seen as a tad controversial or provocative. So, how about “Governance Reform Implementation Committee”?

This would serve to remind the participants of their responsibility to implement the will of the people, which is now written across the sky in stars.

Secondly, I note that one member of the group has been conspicuous by his absence at all three meetings to date, having forwarded apologies for absence to the chairman on only two of those three occasions.

Am I alone in finding this somewhat disrespectful to the other members, to the residents of the Ward represented, and to the democratic process in general?

I suggest that any member who is unable or unwilling to give his/her time to this important public interest campaign should stand down from the group, lest cynics and/or conspiracy theorists form the damaging opinion that he/she is a placed man/woman, poised to vote on message when the opportunity arises.

Finally, I should like to express my personal hope that when future generations look back on the Great Governance Review of 2017, they will say: “They fought like lions, they fought like warrior-poets... and won their freedom!”

Come on, Bexhill! Raise your game!

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