Cooden confusion at boundary discussion

Bexhill Town Hall SUS-150207-140256001
Bexhill Town Hall SUS-150207-140256001

Proposed ward boundary changes in Rother district were discussed on Monday (November 16) - but a large section of the debate focussed on whether to rename one of the Bexhill wards.

Proposals and counter-proposals flew across the table as Rother councillors discussed the merits of changing the name of St Marks - before opting to leave it as it is.

Cllr Tom Graham (Bexhill St Marks) proposed his ward changes its name to Cooden.

Cllr Stuart Earl (St Marks) said: “I cannot really see the point of it because part of the current St Marks, which is in Cooden, is being removed and put into another ward all together. The majority of people in St Marks live in Little Common and not Cooden.”

Lord Ampthill (Rye) proposed a new name of Cooden and Little Common.

But it was pointed out Little Common consists of a number of different wards.

Cllr Ian Hollidge (Sackville) said: “Is there a way we can compromise on this and put it as Cooden and St Marks?”

But Cllr Carl Maynard (Brede Valley) suggested the debate be brought to a close, saying: “Is this something that could be taken away, debated and brought back at a later date?” He suggested there should be some ‘community interface’ over the issue.

However a proposal to rename St Michaels as Pebsham St Michaels ward was agreed.

Cllr Charles Clark (St Michaels) said: “Three quarters of the ward is actually in Pebsham. There’s a really strong community and it would be nice for Pebsham to be included.”

Under Rother’s ward boundary proposals, Bexhill Central will lose 187 electors to Sackville and St Marks will lose 185 to Collington ward.

Meanwhile Cllr Maurice Watson (Sidley) successfully appealed against proposals to move electors from Sidley into St Stephens ward.

The proposals were approved and will be submitted to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE). A lengthy consultation will follow and any ward changes would come into effect in 2019.