I would like to lend my support to the sentiments expressed by Diana Smith (“Let the people speak at planning committee” - Bexhill Observer 6 Feb 2015).
I was a parish councillor in a village in North Hampshire, in the Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council district and Chair of the Parish Council for a number of years.
Like parishes in West Berkshire district, our district council would allow a representative of the parish council to speak and comment if we wished at Borough Council meetings about individual planning applications and other matters relevant to our village.
However what makes the issue of the absence of a town council for Bexhill at the present a burning issue is the lack of accountability of our elected district and county councillors about decisions either to be made or having been made that affect Bexhill residents and businesses.
Recent issues reported in your paper in this category include decisions by the county council to cut bus services and the recent issues relating to decisions concerning the refurbishment of foot-ways on the Marina in Bexhill as reported last week.
The parish council that I chaired included on its published agenda items where both the local county councillor and district councillors attended to give a report on relevant issues and be asked questions by the parish councillors.
We also had an open session at the start of each council meeting when any member of the public could raise any issues relevant to the village and the parish council’s role.
It is for all these reasons that Bexhill needs an elected town council, which I hope will be able to drive a great deal more openness and transparency about the way that decisions affecting the administration of Bexhill are being taken.