Fears of losing council majority

Stephen Jackson

Albert Road, Bexhill

When the 1974 Local Government Planning and Land Act created Rother District Council, demoting Bexhill, it virtually guaranteed the Conservatives an overall majority.

Looked at in this way, it was no surprise when the Conservative group voted for the status quo at the full council meeting on December 18.

The reality is that if you take Bexhill out of the equation, the Conservatives are left with a scattering of rural wards, losing their anchor and their majority.

This is the basis for their consistent, even hostile, opposition to the restoration of a Bexhill council.

In fact, the only time I recall a Conservative (Bexhill) councillor suggesting a town council was during a cabinet a few years ago. There was a polite pause and then discussion moved on to safer ground!

I gather the lady voted against at the recent meeting.

In conversations, the point has been raised about why non-Bexhill councillors were allowed to vote. For comparison, imagine the European Parliament voting on the result of our Brexit referendum.

It is ironic, almost Catch 22, that while a Bexhill council would cost the Conservatives dear, the only way, absent government legislation, to get such a council is to win the district election.

The silence of our illustrious MP, Huw Merriman, despite Bexhill being over half of his/our constituency, has been commented on. Perhaps he, too, fears losing his majority?

Just one more thing, since the topic has been mentioned. In the event we get a Bexhill council, it will be for Rother councillors to hire rooms in the Town Hall, or find a HQ of their own – perhaps in Battle.