Rother District Council’s new leader confirmed as parties form alliance

Bexhill Town Hall
Bexhill Town Hall

Rother District Council will be led by an alliance of political parties after the Conservatives were swept from power for the first since 1999, according to a councillor.

The new Rother Alliance will be made up of Independent, Liberal Democrat, Labour and Green Party councillors following this month’s elections.

The council will be led by councillor Doug Oliver, who currently leads the 13-strong Association of Independent councillors on Rother District Council.

The Rother Alliance will see the Independent councillors join up with the seven Liberal Democrats and three Labour councillors elected to the council on May 2.

There will be a formal vote to confirm the new alliance as well as leader and deputy leader at a full council meeting on May 22.

Councillor Doug Oliver said: “We want to show that there is another more inclusive way to run Rother.

“We are all committed to listening and not dictating, working with and not against local residents and putting people first.”

The Rother Alliance says it has agreed a new cabinet structure made up of five Independents, two Liberal Democrats and Labour holding the newly created Bexhill Affairs brief.

Liberal Democrat councillor Sue Prochak will act as deputy leader.

The list of cabinet members is as follows:

Doug Oliver (leader) – Strategic Overview, Finance, Resources and Value for Money

Sue Prochak (deputy leader) Waste and Recycling, Rural Affairs, Parish and Town Council Liaison

Christine Bayliss – Regeneration and Bexhill Affairs (Business and Voluntary Sector Liaison)

Jay Brewerton – Safer Communities and Communications, Young People, Sport and (Leisure and Member Training and Development Champion)

Kathryn Field – Environment and Public Realm

Deidre Earl-Williams – Acquisitions, Transformation, Regeneration-Culture and Tourism/Museums, Beach

Charles Clark – Housing, Welfare and Equalities

Jonathan Vine-Hall – Strategic Planning, Gypsies and Travellers

Liberal Democrat leader, councillor Kevin Dixon, who represents South Battle and Telham, said “It’s important that we ensure that the rural areas are effectively represented and my group can do that.

“We don’t want to replicate the divisive politics of the previous administration – this really is an opportunity to deliver sustainable change.”

Councillor Christine Bayliss, leader of the Labour Group who will lead on Bexhill Affairs, added: “I can’t wait to get started.

“The Rother Alliance will confirm its commitment to establishing a Bexhill Town Council at the AGM next week reflecting the clear will of the people who voted for me and my colleagues on May 2.”

More on the elections here:

Rother District Council election results: live updates.

Tories take a punishing in council elections across Sussex.

Tories lose overall control of Rother District Council.