Decision should be made in town

Bexhill Observer letters
Bexhill Observer letters

From: David Gee, Marina Court Avenue, Bexhill

Thank you for drawing attention to the need for Bexhill to regain the Council it lost to Rother in 1974 after 72 years of proud local governance. (“Labour backs having a town council in governance review”, BO, March 3).

I do hope all political parties, the independents, the 130 community organisations that Rother District Council has written to and the public respond to the current Community Governance Review, whose first phase of public consultation closes on March 31.

One powerful reason for improving democracy in Bexhill is that by 2020 the Central Government Grant to local authorities will be reduced to zero from almost £2m currently.

This comes on top of a 75 per cent cut since 2010. After 2020 councils will be dependent on council tax, business rates, and any other income they can find: so cuts in services, the need to further raise local taxes, and the hunt for new forms of revenue will be high on any council’s agenda.

Such debates and decisions should take place in Bexhill led by an active local community and by Bexhill Town Councillors who are directly elected to represent, and be accountable to, the people of Bexhill.

As the Government’s guidance on conducting a Community Governance review says: “Parish and town councils are the foundation stones for other levels of local government.

Their directly elected councillors represent local communities in a way that other bodies however worthy, cannot, since such organisations do not have representatives directly elected to those bodies”. (Guidance on Community Governance Reviews, Local Government Boundary Commission, 2010).

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