Bexhill residents will be given a second chance to have their say on how the town is governed in the future.
A fresh public consultation as part of a Community Governance Review launches on Friday, February 21, giving members of the public, business owners and organisations the opportunity to give their views on the creation of a town council.
The results of the six-week consultation will be considered by Rother District Council’s Community Governance Review Steering Group which will draw up draft proposals.
The idea of a town council was rejected by the council in December 2017, but the issue was given renewed impetus by the election of a new administration in May last year.
Cllr Christine Bayliss, portfolio holder for regeneration and Bexhill Affairs and chairman of the steering group, said: “The results of last year’s local elections, and the success of candidates who supported the idea of a town council, demonstrated there was a still a desire for more powers for Bexhill.
“It is so important the people of Bexhill feel involved in such a significant decision so we have agreed to hold our meetings in public. We are keen to hear the public’s view and look forward to working with residents, business leaders and organisations to find the best solution for the town.”
The review comes after full council gave its backing in May 2019 to press ahead with detailed plans on how a town council can be created in Bexhill in 2021.
If created, a town council could develop a neighbourhood plan setting out where it believes non-strategic housing should go and could choose, with district council agreement, to take over some services such as parks, play areas, toilets and allotments.
There would be an additional charge to Bexhill council tax payers in the region of £22.11 in the first year for running a new town council with an estimated budget of around £1m – this is the equivalent of 42p extra per week, or eight pence for those qualifying for maximum council tax reduction.
Following the consultation, the council expects to consider final proposals and make a decision later this year.
Information about the review and how to take part in the consultation will be included in a leaflet to be sent to every household in Bexhill, and is available online at www.rother.gov.uk/CommunityGovernanceReview.
Responses must be made by Friday, April 3 at 4.30pm.
Anyone unable to respond online can write to Rother District Council, Town Hall, Bexhill, TN39 3JX.