First steps to establishing a town council for Bexhill

Supporters of a Bexhill Town Council pictured in December 2017
Supporters of a Bexhill Town Council pictured in December 2017

Rother councillors are to discuss the next steps in establishing a town council for Bexhill, when the authority meets for its annual meeting next week.

In its first public meeting since the local elections earlier this month, Rother District Council is to hold its annual meeting on Wednesday (May 22).

Councillors are expected to discuss a notice of motion on creating a town council to represent Bexhill – with the possibility of a 2021 deadline to get the authority up and running.

The motion has been put forward by Doug Oliver, leader of the newly-formed Rother Alliance and the council’s new leader elect.

His motion says: “In the light of the outcome of the local election results and the overwhelming support for candidates that support a town council for Bexhill-on-Sea, this council requests officers to report as to the required procedure to achieve this as early as possible but by 2021.”

Calls for a town council for Bexhill have been growing since Rother launched its Community Governance Review in 2017.

The review looked at what improvements could be made to the governance of the town – putting forward four options, including establishing a town council.

A public consultation was held on the options with more than 9,000 residents responding, 94 per cent of whom backed a town council. According to council stats, this represents around 25.8 per pent of the total electors in Bexhill.

However the final decision lay with councillors, who instead opted to make no change. In all 18 councillors voted for no change, with 11 voting against and five abstentions.

At the time, councillors who opposed a town council argued the decision was due to the low turnout of for the consultation, when compared to the number of electors in Bexhill.